OT: G League to offer $125K to elite prospects as alternative to college one-and-done route


Potential huge disrupter to NCAA basketball.

Edit: link fixed. Sorry for delay.

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Your link doesn't seem to be working there bud

Edit: I found the article

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies

It'll be tough to get it established considering NCAAB is broadcasted on major stations more than any d or g league game.

the NBA gets ~$2.6b annually from ESPN and TNT. I'm sure they'll manage.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

the league itself is already established. they don't need fans. or tv time. although most of their games are aired on NBA TV. this isn't about the league. its about the players that now can skip college again and get paid. Im sure the multi billion dollar NBA wont mind paying some kids to prepare better to come up on the big league in the next couple years. it helps the NBA put a better product on the court in the long run for seminally chump change. The # of highschool kids that went straight to the NBA that flopped is far more than those that were stars and this will give NBA GMs a chance to weed those guys out before drafting them and paying them millions of dollars to never be productive. the Kwame browns of the league.

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Top players could fetch more in the euro leagues if they really wanted to skip college, no?

Link is also broken

Here is a Link take 2

The ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball certainly makes this a well-timed announcement.

I kind of doubt this will attract anyone but those caught up in payment scandals or with academic issues that would affect their eligibility. What happens if these kids don't pan out? Can't go back to college at that point, no eligibility.

I understand your point, but HBO real sports had a segment a while back talking about how the kids that don't go pro, typically have a hard time finding well paying jobs. So, 125k out of high school, vs 50-60 after college, maybe. Idk.

I suppose, but how many seasons can you play at that rate if you don't wind up being a lottery pick before you just become any other g-league player trying to earn a roster spot at a mere 35k a season? I would think the opportunity of a getting a full-ride and a degree has to compare quite favorably.

If it's just one season, that 125k likely won't pay for a full ride.

I haven't seen the segment your talking about, will have to give it a look. Who are they talking about more specifically, are these kids who leave college early and go undrafted? Or kids that are finishing up a 4 year degree and getting a 'real' job? 50-60k on average is pretty good for a recent college grad i would think.

These were kids that graduated. I made those numbers up, I have no idea what a new grad can make (went straight to grad school). This also opens you up to endorsements, which can be a huge difference in money. I'm sure top programs can make it worth it for the players but it'll be interesting to see if anyone bites. I could see a kid that couldn't care less about school signing up, taking the year to work full time on his game and getting in shape. I have no clue how G-league competition comparison to college ball, but I don't think this is nothing.

This is going to be kids who, barring injury, are locks to be 1st rounders and usually lottery picks. They are the 1 and done group. The G league is offering $125K/year base + what ever they can get for endorsements. There won't be more than 2 seasons at the $125K/year rate. From there they could do a couple years to get to 4 years just like they would have, had they gone to college. They would end up with ~$200K in earnings above what they'd need to live (and I think that this is low).

If they aren't in the NBA by then, they may be worse of than if they'd gone to college by ONLY if they graduated. How many of the kids who would get the $125K/year would earn a degree? I'd wager a number very close to 0.

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There aren't too many European leagues that are excited to pay teenagers that kind of money to have them around for one year. They know they aren't getting long-term benefit for developing the player, so it's not in the club's best interest to develop said player. Unless a club positions itself as a one-and-done NBA pipeline and gains a lot of notoriety and value in other ways off the court (e.g. sponsorships, etc), they aren't likely at all to see any sort of ROI on one year of any American teenager.

It could happen and has happened, but there's valid reasons you don't see it happening more often.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

That makes sense, you are right it doesn't do much for the team if the player will be taking his popularity back overseas to a competing league.

I suppose i just had Mudiay on the mind, think he got a million bucks to go to China instead of being in NCAA eligibility limbo over at SMU.

Brandon Jennings played in Italy for a year for ~1m, got a ~2m deal from Under Armor, and then was drafted in the lottery, so it worked out for him too.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I agree with what others have said, but I also wonder how much visibility overseas players have with respect to the NBA front offices. I imagine staying closer to home ensures more eyeballs on them, especially since the G-league has players under contract with each NBA team, meaning they certainly have eyes on the games themselves.

Good luck profiting from your likeness when no one knows who you are....dumb for any elite level prospect to do this.

All the reasons to say this is a bad idea and you go with profiting off of their likenesses? If one-and-dones are making it to the NBA either way then the 1st year of their career isn't going affect how much they make off of their likeness, and I'd argue that $125k is competitive with what your average P5 player who doesn't make it to the NBA will make off of their likeness after their college career.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

long overdue.

need a restructure of NBA draft eligibility now, not down the road.

colleges need to stick to what they do best; as does the NBA

How many honestly would go this route though? Enough to actually populate the G league with talent or just a handful of players dominating the rest? Also Im no expert on the NBA but I feel the coaching and support that comes along with going through a NCAA program could be better than G league coaching/training in the long haul for a players development as well.

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Something tells me that even if a high schooler is "NBA ready" talent wise, that the lifestyle change alone is enough to introduce a steep learning curve. Especially going against grown men trying to claw and hustle their way into the league. Going G-league over NCAA is way more sink-or-swim.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

That's the way I see it where as college or NCAA is safer in case of unforseen injury issues or just taking 3-4 years to develop fully

Wonder if the NCAA counters this by saying take the deal with the g league and forfiet elegibility to play college ball or not to try and keep the players

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

If a guy takes the money in the G-league, that's it. He can't then go back to college later (to play ball). A change to this would require a deep, fundamental change to the core concepts of the whole NCAA structure.

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Had no idea that rule exhisted so yeah this option is a hell of a risk when all is considered unless youre the next lebron james.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

This will not shake up college basketball. Not for me anyway. College games are awesome with the environment and more fans invested heavily in their "school". People will watch. People will attend. The tournament is fantastic, and there will still be enough intrigue and talent to go around.

Also, riding GGC's coat tails here, college is much more fun than riding around on a bus and playing half crazed 30 year olds in hockey arenas. Word of mouth about that suck factor will cause a lot of high schoolers to give pause to that decision.

Literally nothing to see here.

Leonard. Duh.

Literally nothing to see here.

There are 125,000 reasons you are wrong.

Though I agree that it shouldn't affect the NCAA product much at all, since at most I would expect about 10 players a year taken through this system so the impact may be felt the most at the high end, but they'll still end up with most of the big-time recruits. Once you get past the top few teams, the dropoff in talent will be minimal.

This is my belief too. NCAA basketball will be just as great as always, but I think we'll see slightly more parity (arguably improving the product). The way I see it, this is one less McDonald's American that Kentucky/Duke/UNC gets each year.

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After reading the article my immediate concerns would be with how much development these players are going to see since the NBA team staff will view them as one and done with no upside. A college program at least benefits from the exposure of an NCAA run or at a minimum the news a top prospect garners on ESPN and the like so even in a one and done status, they have a vested interest in improving the player. The NBA staff knows the guy is going into the draft the next season so I think the NBA will need to develop a reward system for those G-League players that get drafted. Maybe the answer is Supplemental draft picks at the end of Round 1 if the player is taken in the lottery and the end of round 2 if they are taken after that. Then the team at least benefits from making the most of the player at a G-League level.

A second concern is regarding the medical support/draft opportunities the players get going this route. If the player goes to college, gets hurt to the point it hinders their draft position, then they can opt to stay in college another year. If they go to the G-League, what backstop do they have if they get hurt since they are only initially in for one season. I think there should be a path to a second season, something like a medical redshirt, so they can decide to return to the G-League for the second season and then enter the draft after that.

I do think some of these players could find more lucrative contracts in Europe rather than the $125K in this option but I think the way the NBA should work around that is by arranging to televise G-League games in conjunction with NBA games or in a dedicated timeslot on ESPN to enhance the profile status of the players similar to playing in college. It improves the G-League brand as an option, it improves the status of elite talent so they are a more household name and makes it more attractive an option going forward.

All of that said, I do not see this as much of a disrupter to the NCAA. Even if you took every top player from college each season and filled the G-League rosters that still leaves a giant number of players of that same level of quality that will be left over to go to college. It also means a lot of players that may not have gotten a chance to play college basketball will now have that opportunity.

I was hoping you'd chime in on this, appreciate the insight.

The easiest way to incentivize G league teams to develop these talents is to compensate financially - both at the team level and individually at the staff level. At the NBA-level, maybe compensatory "third rounders" that can be traded.

The safety net that the NCAA provides in case of injury is a real benefit in the case of fringe-NBA players. As a parallel point, though, NBA teams have shown in the past that a highly rated high school prospect who initially projected as one-and-done types before suffering injury can still be drafted in the late first round (Harry Giles) or even first overall (Kyrie). But these are the exception rather than the rule.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

But for a player with draft aspirations of the Lottery status and the increase in dollars that brings, it might be worth sitting out the second season if they aren't forced into the draft based on an injury.

My thought process on the compensation factors involved also makes me wonder if the NBA would consider creating a couple additional G-League teams that are solely filled with these one and done types. The problem there is that one and dones tend to lean towards explosive bigs and slick handling point guards and not a ton in between at least at the lottery level so piling those players into one team could cause more dysfunction than its worth. The plus side is it would make getting these guys national attention much easier. Just plan to have those teams entire schedule on live TV as they work through the other G-League opponents. It would alleviate having to provide compensation as motivation to teams in terms of development. It would make educating them on what to expect as a pro in terms of money management and the like a much more streamlined process too if they are always in the same cities together.

Aren't all the G league teams affiliated with an NBA team, 1:1?

How would this even work if you are placing elite talent in organizations who don't own the rights to them.

The more i think about this, the more its seems like an entirely illogical route around the 1 and done rules. If the NBA wants this kids in the fold, right out of high school, they should just do away with that stupid rule and be done with it.

Only 25 teams have g league affiliates

edit for clarity: yes, all g league teams have an associated NBA team, but not all NBA teams have a g league squad

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

As I understand it, the G-league has players under contract to NBA teams as well as players under contract to the individual G-league teams. This wouldn't be any different, except the contract is for one year only.

All of the G League teams have an affiliated NBA team. The only players with a dual contract affiliation are the two per NBA team that are on Two Way contracts. The affiliated NBA team covers all the costs of the G League affiliate. In terms of negotiating though its much like the NFL practice squads, any NBA team can negotiate a 10 day or season contract with any players not on the two way contracts. The Select contracts wouldnt be eligible to be called up so they would be a different kind of limbo.

After reading the article my immediate concerns would be with how much development these players are going to see since the NBA team staff will view them as one and done with no upside.

This seems like a stopgap until the NBA can officially draft high school grads. They are essentially offering 1 year internships to select kids who are more ready for basketball than college. Nothing prevents college qualified kids from electing to go the college route.

Sounds reasonable, though I can't say for sure, not being a hoops guy.

Perhaps the best of this league get into pro ball and others might have the opportunity to join a team in Europe? They always seem to be recruiting over there for their developmental programs.

This may work out well for a couple of players per year who are physically ready to play the NBA (Lebron, Kobe style), but seems like anyone who needs any kind of development would benefit more from going the 1 and done college route... college programs, especially the top-tier would have better S&C, medical support and nutrition support compared to any G-league team.

Why would anyone do this? They could make more at Duke.

Always choose joy.

Bad source story time.

A friend of friend (yes I know how not-credible this sauce is) was at a party with Ed Davis while he was being recruited by UVA. The story goes that someone brought in a silver brief case full of cash, like you see in a movie. All hundreds, had to be six figures. He just laughs, shuts the brief case, keeps partying. He commits to UNC a couple weeks later.

Is this story true? I'm not sure. But gotta wonder how much he got at UNC.

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Less what they would make at Kentucky or Duke but not bad for those that aren't there to play school...

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Best overall solution is to let kids that are good enough go to the NBA after high school.

Leonard. Duh.

from the NBA standpoint, absolutely. let's just hope that the franchises have learned not to draft the next Robert Swift

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The problem is that this would require the CBA between the owners and players to be edited which apparently neither party wants to emtertain right now so this Select contract would be the stop gap until a new CBA is agrred to which would start in 2022.

Just waiting for a kid to slip up and say he's going to UNCheat because it was a better offer

Another option completely separate of the G-league option has emerged this week with news that Darius Bazley, once rumored to be on the path to the G-League direct, is instead getting a $1M intern position with New Balance, that will include 3 months working in their offices but primarily to allow him to get ready for the NBA draft. If things go well with the draft then his overall endorsement deal while on Rookie Contract would expand to $14M. Wont be long until every agent is trying to reserve their clients this kind of deal.