Yahoo – With Jalen Green announcing he’s bypassing college and joining the NBA’s G League for the 2020-21 season, he’s attempting to forge a new path for elite prospects.
The five-star recruit who is ranked No. 2 in the 2020 high school class by Rivals.com has reached a substantial six-figure deal, sources said, to partner with the G League for a year before entering the 2021 NBA draft, where he’s a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick.
I know I’m in the minority here, but I just have never been a big college basketball fan. March Madness is great sure, but I just could never get into college basketball and I think a big reason is because all the best players are only around for a season, maybe two. If you play all four years of college ball, chances are you’re not going to be an NBA player unless your name is Draymond Green.
This isn’t the NFL where athletes legitimately need time to physically mature to handle the league. No, 18-year-olds can physically play in the NBA no problem. Thats not to say many of them would be elite right off the bat, but Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James proved going to college is not required to be a successful NBA player. Not to mention the NCAA looks more and more crooked each and every year as it finds new ways to screw athletes out of money. So if a kid is good enough to play professionally, then why should anyone be able to tell him no you need to go to Duke to pretend to do homework for 6 months, then you can go pro. Cut the crap.
I blogged about this back in March 2018 as the NBA has long been considering a solution for grooming young players that don’t want to go to college, but aren’t exactly floored about playing overseas. What I said back then:
If you’re going to require that players are at least a year removed from high school and the NCAA continues to be the money grubbing scheme that it is, it only makes sense to make the G-League a legitimate alternative to college. A place where players can get actual NBA level coaching and make a little coin without getting athletic directors and coaches everywhere investigated by the FBI.
Chris Haynes continues in the Yahoo article and mentions the idea of a “Select Team.”
“The G League will create a “Select Team” in a designated city with a few roster spots for elite high school players who want to play professionally instead of going to college, sources said. The rest of the roster will be made up of veteran players.”
Go hang around campus in your iSlides, get your National Championship on, take down a couple co-eds…not a bad gig. Or go pro in the States making six figures a year with nothing but a high school diploma? Ok, still not a sweet enough deal?
“The G League is also offering Green a full scholarship if he wants to obtain his college degree.“
LOL kick rocks, NCAA.
Adam Silver will go down as one of the great sports commissioners for a lot of reasons (integration of social media, e-sports, progressive views on marijuana, ousting Donald Sterling), but he may make his biggest mark in history for righting the wrong that was his predecessor’s baby: the One and Done rule. The One and Done rule has been in effect since 2005 so it’s “only” been 15 years, but Silver may have just found the solution to this tricky question. Rather than throwing kids straight into the fire that is the NBA or forcing them to go to college, Silver and co. came up with the idea of giving athletes a legit salary to play in the G-League while they level up. If you ask me, 9/10 kids are going to take that offer over playing for free at college and risking an injury.
Another huge perk to going this route is that this “Select Team” will only play about 20 games instead of the usual 50 in the G-League or 30+ in college or 82 in the NBA. Workload is probably a bigger factor than anything else as young players can gradually get used to a longer schedule.
We’ve seen a lot of guys look for ways around the One and Done rule. Back in 2018 Darius Bazley actually passed on this exact idea of joining the G-League in favor of an “internship” (with a $1 million salary) right in my neighborhood at the New Balance HQ. Bazley ultimately went No. 23 overall in the following NBA Draft so while he earned some serious money in the short term, the argument could be made he hurt his longterm career earnings by not getting the on-court experience in the G-League (or college).
None of this will really matter if Jalen Green flames out in the G-League and drops in next year’s draft, but this could be the start of something big.