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NBA "G" League (official thread)

Discussion in 'Professional Basketball' started by ScriptOhio, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Top high school player Jalen Green enters NBA/G League pathway

    California high school star Jalen Green, the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 ESPN 100, is making the leap to a reshaped NBA professional pathway program -- a G League initiative that will pay elite prospects $500,000-plus and provide a one-year development program outside of the minor league's traditional team structure, sources told ESPN.

    Green -- a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft -- announced Thursday that he is bypassing college to become the professional pathway's first participant, a decision that likely clears the way for more commitments from elite prospects.

    His decision to join the NBA and G League's development program for the 2020-21 season has broad implications for the future of the NCAA and NBA landscapes. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim have worked to eliminate two massive hurdles to convincing players uninterested in college basketball to pass on the lucrative National Basketball League of Australia by providing a massive salary increase and a structure that doesn't include playing full time in the G League.

    Once top 2020 draft prospects LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton chose to play professionally in Australia this year, Silver became more determined in pushing Abdur-Rahim to explore a financial and basketball structure that enticed top American prospects. Green represents a massive breakthrough for the NBA's long-standing goal of gaining access to top prospects who want an alternative to the NCAA.

    "That's a real program that the NBL has," Abdur-Rahim told ESPN. "It's appealing. We have kids leaving the United States -- Texas and California and Georgia -- to go around the world to play, and our NBA community has to travel there to scout them. That's counterintuitive. The NBA is the best development system in the world, and those players shouldn't have to go somewhere else to develop for a year. They should be in our development system."

    The NBA's talks remain stalled with the National Basketball Players Association on an agreement to end the one-and-done draft model, leaving this revamped pro pathway program as a bridge to what is believed will be the eventual elimination of the rule requiring American players to wait a year after high school graduation before entering the draft.

    Green is committing to become part of a yearlong developmental program with G League oversight that will include professional coaching, top prospects and veteran players who will combine training and exhibition competitions against the likes of G League teams, foreign national teams and NBA academies throughout the world, sources said.

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
  2. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Options for Jalen Green's NBA path: Pros and cons of G League, college basketball or playing internationally

    The factors at play in Green's decision to choose a new G League alternative

    The NBA's rollout of a G League program designed for high-ranking prospects wishing to circumvent college basketball without starting their careers overseas took a high-profile twist Thursday. When Jalen Green, the No. 3 ranked prospect in the class of 2020, announced his intention to join the G League, he set a precedent that could have major ramifications for college basketball and the traditional path to the NBA.

    So what were the pros and cons that led an elite high school talent like Green to choose the G League -- historically perceived as an unattractive destination -- over playing college basketball or playing overseas?

    Let's takes a look at the evolving options here, running the gamut from playing professionally in the United States to playing college basketball and going overseas as some prospects have done in recent years.

    NBA via G League
    Pros: For Green, the green is an obvious allure. To land the 6-foot-5 shooting guard as the face of its new program, the G League reportedly had to shell out much more than the $125,000 it planned to pay prospects who wanted to choose this route. ESPN reported that top prospects who choose the G-League route could now be in line to make more than $500,000 while Stadium reported that Green's total compensation including endorsements is expected to "eclipse $1 million for the year."

    But beyond the money, the attraction for Green includes being the pioneer of an option that could dramatically alter the pathway to the NBA for many top prospects. That pathway will reportedly include playing for a team with other top prospects and veteran players and competing in a limited exhibition schedule while focusing largely on skills development designed to prepare players for the NBA. In short, Green may be affiliating with the G League. But he won't be moving to a rural locale to play for one of the league's 28 traditional teams. And he won't be playing the league's full 40-plus game slate that requires crisscrossing the country on commercial flights and playing in front of mostly empty gyms.

    Cons: While being the highest-profile player to take this route in its debut year will boost Green's marketability, it will also put his development under a microscope that could bring an unwelcome level of scrutiny to an 18-year-old. In a sense, he's at the mercy of the promises made to him by the G League leaders who have supplied the cash and vision for a program that has no precedent in American basketball. While rough outlines of how it will work have been reported, a statement from the NBA on Thursday is a reminder of just how unsettled the details of the new G League option remain.

    "Details of the new team Green will play for, which will be unaffiliated with any existing NBA G League franchise or NBA team, are forthcoming," read the NBA statement.

    But the details matter, and if they do not ultimately align with what Green expects, the experience could prove to be more frustrating than fruitful.

    The future: Prospects in the 2020 and 2021 classes do not have the option of declaring for the NBA Draft straight out of high school. Starting in 2022, players are expected to have that option again. So while Green's decision to play in the new G-League program lends credibility to it on the front end, the long-term prominence of the program remains uncertain. A player of Green's caliber would have the option of going straight to the NBA Draft in two years. The G League program could be flush with top prospects until then. But it's uncertain what will become of it when the top players are again allowed to go straight to the NBA.

    Still, if the G League can offer a deal in excess of $100,000 to prospects ranked in the 10-20 range in the recruiting classes dated 2022 and beyond, it could leave prospects with a decision to make and colleges in pursuit of their services in a lurch. Is it wise for a college staff to devote its time and effort to recruiting a player who is likely to choose the financial promise and the status of a G-League program designed specifically to prepare them for the NBA?

    On the flip side, a con for the G League program is the possibility that it fails some players. If, after spending a year in the program, some prospects are left to compete for NBA roster spots as undrafted free agents or forced to take commercial flights while playing in front of empty gyms for a regular G-League team, the option may become less attractive compared to the relative safety of the college alternative.

    Pros: Green is already nearing one million followers on Instagram. But he could have used the massive marketing apparatus that is college basketball to bring his brand to millions more if he'd decided to play college basketball. The Fresno, California native told Yahoo Sports that Memphis would have been his choice if he'd opted to play college basketball. While the Tigers do not have the national brand of a Duke or North Carolina, he would have been playing his home games in an NBA arena at FedExForum under a pair of former NBA stars in head coach Penny Hardaway and assistant Mike Miller. While James Wiseman's attempt to lead the Memphis program back to the top of the sport didn't pan out in the 2019-20 season, Wiseman is still expected to be a lottery pick. And Precious Achiuwa, a top-15 prospect from the 2019 class, only solidified his standing in the draft during his freshman season at Memphis.

    Cons: Green would not have been able to immediately cash in on his talent, at least not legally. The rules of college basketball are straightforward in that regard, and they are a turn-off for top players who already possess valuable talent. Plus, committing to the college route in the current circumstances would have been committing to uncertainty. While the nation's professional sports leagues are exploring ways to resume play as soon as this summer, there is no guarantee that college sports will return before the end of the 2020 calendar year. It's within the realm of possibility that students won't be on campuses and that team practices won't occur as they would in a normal year. Under those circumstances, the apparent benefits of going the college route would have been negated.

    The future: Critics of the college game argue that the product suffered in the 2019-20 season due to the absence of elite prospects in the 2019 class from the game's top stages. Wiseman played just three games for Memphis before he decided to withdraw from school to prepare for the NBA Draft amid an NCAA suspension. No. 5 overall prospect RJ Hampton and No. 25 overall prospect LaMelo Ball opted to play in a professional league based in Australia. Meanwhile, top-10 prospects Isaiah Stewart, Cole Anthony and Jaden McDaniels labored largely outside of the spotlight for teams that finished with losing records.

    So is the collegiate game dependent on a steady influx of top talent playing visible roles in the sport? Or could it thrive even if the majority of the top-15 prospects in a given year have opted to play professionally because of the advent of the G League alternative?

    One thing to consider is that the financial attractiveness of playing college basketball may be increasing soon. With the NCAA pondering legislation to allow athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, playing college basketball could become more financially lucrative for prospects who are on the fence about turning pro.

    If a college athlete could cash in on an endorsement while also enjoying the security of having up to four seasons to pursue a degree and prepare for the professional ranks, it could remain a viable option for top prospects skeptical of the legitimacy of the G League's program.

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  3. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    No. 13-ranked basketball prospect Isaiah Todd signs with G League

    Top high school basketball recruit Isaiah Todd signed Friday to play in the G League next season, and sources told ESPN's Jonathan Givony he will become the second top recruit to bypass college and join the NBA's professional pathway program.

    Todd is ranked by ESPN as the No. 13 recruit in the Class of 2020. He joins Jalen Green, the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 ESPN 100, who announced his intention to go to the G League on Thursday.

    "We're excited to have Isaiah begin his professional career in the NBA G League," G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim said in a statement. "With his skill and drive to succeed, I'm confident that he will thrive in the NBA G League and use all of our available resources to prepare for the next stage in his career."

    Players in the G League's yearlong developmental program will receive a salary up to $500,000, including financial incentives for playing in games, completing community events and attending life-skills programs coordinated by the G League's oversight of the program, sources said. Todd's salary will be about $250,000 if he reaches all the bonuses that are in the contract.

    The program includes professional coaching, top prospects and veteran players who will combine training and exhibition competitions against the likes of G League teams, foreign national teams and NBA academies throughout the world, sources told ESPN.

    The program's season could include 10 to 12 games against G League teams that wouldn't count in standings, sources said. The primary objective will be assimilation and growth into the NBA on several levels -- from playing to the teaching of life skills.

    Todd, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Virginia who attended Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina, decommitted from Michigan, where he had been the first top-15 recruit at Michigan for new coach Juwan Howard.

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    brodybuck21 likes this.
  4. Jake

    Jake Bring back Clemente ‘17 The Deuce Champ '18 The Deuce Champ Fantasy Baseball Champ

    I get that these kids just want to play ball and not be bothered with college, but they're hurting themselves by doing it. They end up in Iowa or Fort Wayne playing in a league nobody follows (outside of maybe 200 people in Iowa or Fort Wayne), doesn't get any real TV coverage, and goes largely unnoticed. Sure, NBA teams scout them and the good ones get drafted, but a kid going from Fort Wayne then to the Indiana Pacers may as well be invisible unless he just goes ape shit in the Association.

    Imagine Zion Williamson going that route. Would he have had the hype he did coming into the NBA? The marketability? Fuck no, he had that because he played at Duke. He was on a national stage in a sport watched by millions. Passing up a chance to play at a school like that to make a few bucks playing in Canton, Ohio (Zion made more playing at Duke, but that's another story) doesn't make sense, other than you don't have to pretend to be a student for a few months.
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  5. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    College basketball recruiting: No. 1 overall 2021 prospect Jonathan Kuminga spurns college for G League

    Kuminga chose the G League over a number of suitors, most notably Texas Tech

    Part of the allure with the program stems from its willingness to offer money comparable to other programs overseas while providing the luxury of competing in the states. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Kuminga's deal is in the $500,000 range.

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  6. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    Still hard to believe Kansas and Louisville are allowing themselves to be outbid.
  7. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Five-star prospect Jaden Hardy to sign with NBA G League Ignite over college basketball offers, per report

    Hardy is the No. 3 overall player in the 2021 class and is expected to skip college basketball

    The NBA G League Ignite team is expected to land its second high-profile commitment from the class of 2021 on Saturday as five-star shooting guard Jaden Hardy is planning to sign with the professional program, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Hardy is considered the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2021 class by the 247Sports Composite rankings and has college offers from Kentucky and UCLA, among others. Hardy is scheduled to make an official announcement on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

    Hardy will become the second five-star prospect from the class to choose the G League program, which is entering its second season. Power forward Michael Foster, ranked No. 17 overall in the 247Sports Composite, signed with Ignite last month over Florida State and Georgia.

    The upstart G League program landed four of the top-20 players from the 247Sports Composite in the 2020 recruiting class as Jalen Green (No. 2), Jonathan Kuminga (No. 4), No. 17 Daishen Nix (No. 17) and Isaiah Todd (No. 20) all chose the route, which allows top prospects to ink lucrative signing bonuses and earn a salary while preparing for the NBA Draft.

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