While the NCAA is dragging its feet on student-athlete compensation, retaining its amateur model in which everyone except players benefits, the trend of elite basketball hopefuls moving into college continues and possibly to be that a new path has become even more attractive.
The consensus of the top three hopefuls and Jalen Green of All-American of McDonald’s of Prolific Prep (California) announced his decision to sign with the G-League, the minor development league of the NBA, Thursday, three days after the rookie from Michigan, Isaiah Todd, announced that he was going pro too.
Athletic has announced that Todd will join Green as is part of a “small team” located in a city yet to be determined with a few other places on the list that should go to the best high school students and a number of veterans.
The team, not affiliated with an NBA or G-League franchise, will only play 20 games, focusing instead on development and training. Green, according to Yahoo Sports, has received a six-figure “substantial” contract that is said to be around $ 500,000. The agreement also includes a full scholarship to enable him to obtain a university degree.
“Of course, money is better than an average G-League contract,” Green’s stepfather Marcus Greene told Yahoo. “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.”
In October 2018, the NBA announced that the G-League would offer prospects at $ 125,000 for a year, a sign that the league was trying to keep the best players from college in the one-and-done era. The NCAA, on the other hand, objected to student athletes being financially compensated, even though states like Florida and California had passed laws that would allow student-athletes from those states to take advantage of their names . This ultimately forced the NCAA to act, and in October the board of governors voted to allow Divisions I, II, and III to separately create its own image and likeness policy with several limitations – the NCAA used the expression “in accordance with the college model” – which would be implemented by January 2021.
“I’m not saying they have to pay competitively to keep players from an alternative,” said ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas in a telephone interview. “Let’s remove the restriction on athletes to get them to do what you think they should do in the first place, and that will go to college. If we think the best place for a kid is in college, why don’t would we not remove all the obstacles that we put in place to allow him to go and then stay in college? ”
G-League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim told The Post that he did not agree that the NBA’s intention was to harm college basketball with this decision . It was created to give the best prospects who were looking for avenues other than college an opportunity to be professionals immediately without having to play in another country, he said. And this will allow them to play against a high level competition to ensure that they are ready for the next level when they are eligible to be drafted.
“The couple of players who will likely be considering this option are children who were looking for other opportunities to do something other than college basketball,” he said.
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. An advisor to a prominent player, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he believed up to three other top 2020 hopefuls would join Green and Todd.
“I think it’s a great decision,” said the counselor. “Until the kids can go straight to the NBA after high school, I see it as a platform that the kids will use.”
Under the NBA collective agreement, players must be 19 and one year old at the latest to be eligible for the project, although the one-and-one rule is expected done ends soon, perhaps as soon as 2022. In the meantime, some players have chosen other routes.
Last year, five-star prospect RJ Hampton chose to play professionally in New Zealand instead of college, and LaMelo Ball chose Australia, although he would not have been eligible for the award 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 and interned at New Balance as part of a sponsorship agreement. 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 early players.
“It’s a different world we live in now and it will be a competitive opportunity for the best talent,” said Bilas. “The NCAA must pivot and face it.
“It will continue. It will not go the other way until the university allows players to make money.”