The trend of elite prospects to college is continuing and perhaps a new path is now even more attractive.
Thursday, three days after Michigan signatory Isaiah Todd announced plans to become pro, Jalen Green, one of the top three consensus candidates at Prolific Prep (California), announced his decision to sign with the G League, the organ of the minor leagues of the NBA.
Although he is not sure where Todd will play, Green has made it clear that he is not leaving the States.
“The ultimate goal is to get to the NBA,” said the 6-foot-5-inch McDonald’s All-American, who would have signed with Memphis if he had gone to college, on Instagram Live. “The main reason is that I want to get better, develop a better game. I want to work on my profession, become stronger, so that I can be ready for the NBA. This is the best route to prepare for, so I can be ready when the time comes. “
Yahoo Sports reported that Green will be part of a “small team” in a city still to be determined, with a few places allocated to the best high school students and a few veterans. The selected team will not be affiliated with any current NBA or G League franchise, the league announced, and will only play 20 games. Green, according to the website, received a six-figure “substantial” contract. The agreement also includes a full scholarship to enable him to obtain a university degree.
“Of course, money is better than an average contract with the G League,” his stepfather, Marcus Greene, told Yahoo Sports. “This is an opportunity to develop for the next level and to show other children alternative ways to develop your own career and your brands.”
The move came after this week’s announcement that the G-League was looking to secure high school high hopes by offering them $ 500,000 contracts for a season. There were rumors that five-star rookie Terrence Clarke was also going down this route, before quelling those rumors by tweeting that his decision to go to Kentucky had not changed. In October 2018, the NBA announced that the G-League would offer prospects $ 125,000 for one year.
Under the NBA collective agreement, players must be 19 and one year old to be eligible for the project, although the expectation is that the one-and-done rule will end under little, maybe as early as 2022. Meanwhile, while the NCAA is dragging its feet on student-compensating athletes, maintaining its archaic amateur model, some players have chosen other paths.
Last year, five-star prospect R.J. Hampton opted for the Australian National Basketball League rather than the university. The same was true for LaMelo Ball, although he would not have been eligible anyway after playing professionally in Lithuania during his high school years. In 2018, Syracuse signatory Darius Bazley originally planned to go straight to the G-League, but trained that year instead. In 2016, Terrance Ferguson played in Australia after joining Arizona and two years earlier, Emmanuel Mudiay opted for China rather than SMU. Hampton and Ball are both projected lottery choices, while Bazley, Ferguson and Mudiay were all the first players.