G League To Offer New Alternative For One-And-Done Candidates

The NBA G League is creating a new “professional path” for NBA prospects as an alternative to the one-and-done route in college basketball, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Starting in 2019, the G League will offer “select contracts” worth $125K to top prospects who are at least 18 years old but aren’t yet eligible for the NBA draft, league president Malcolm Turner tells Givony. The standard NBAGL salary is $35K.

Rather than spending one year in a college program before making the leap to the NBA, those prospects would get a chance to earn a six-figure salary, spend a season within the NBA’s infrastructure, and participate in off-court development programs “geared towards facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game,” per Tucker.

The NBA’s one-and-done rule may be adjusted in future years, eliminating the need for elite high school prospects to spend a year in college or elsewhere before becoming draft-eligible. However, that’s not expected to happen until the 2022 draft, at the earliest, so the G League hopes to offer a viable alternative in the meantime.

Without the NCAA’s rules in effect, standout prospects who go the NBAGL route would be eligible for shoe deals and other promotional and marketing opportunities, in addition to earning a $125K salary on a select contract.

According to Turner, the G League won’t pursue top prospects who have already committed to colleges, though the select contract route will be an option for players who decommit from programs. The NBAGL president also tells Givony that the league will be selective about which prospects it targets, focusing on high-character players who are ready to make the jump to professional ball.

Several details will still need to be worked out, including how these players are assigned to specific G League teams and whether this opportunity will also be open to international prospects.

Turner is optimistic about the possibilities and several agents share his enthusiasm, according to Givony (Twitter link). However, Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com (Twitter link) questions whether the $125K salary is high enough to make it worthwhile for elite prospects. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter) that the G League lifestyle isn’t a glamorous one, so if a player prioritizes packed arenas and private jets, the NCAA path may still be the better option. “You’ll get paid there too,” Wojnarowski adds.

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12 thoughts on “G League To Offer New Alternative For One-And-Done Candidates

  1. sigmanj

    The entire 6th paragraph is bullshit. “Won’t go after guys who have committed “ followed by “will be an option for those who decommit”. And we will only go after “high character “players. By who’s definition? Shug Knight?

  2. realistnotsucker

    Great job NBA only thing the one and done has done is helped college basketball at the players expense

    • hiflew

      It always amazes me that everyone only looks at this issue from the perspective of the player. I don’t know, I guess they feel like they have more in common with the player than the “evil” owners. However, from the owner and team perspective it doesn’t make too much sense to hand out millions of dollars to someone that you really don’t know can compete against top competition. I know HS players can do AAU and those All Star “games,” but that is not the nearly same as going through an ACC or Big Ten or SEC schedule. If I was considering giving millions of dollars to a player, I’d want as much information as possible.

  3. For top players, this is a “cut” from what they can get going to college for a semester. Nevertheless, I think the days of kids going to school for a semester is nearing it’s end. Nobody likes one-and-done.

    Colleges, even those who’ve turned their programs over to them (with the possible exception of UK), absolutely hate one-and-done. It’s embarrassing for the schools (and may get even more so soon), and it hasn’t really helped the blue blood programs that employ it relative to the field. CBB survived the death of the 4 year star, it can survive without these rent a players. A zero/3 like in baseball is unlikely, but if CBB could make its own sundae, that would be it. But even direct entry from HS or a 2 year waiting period would be preferable to one-and-done.

    The NBA (teams/league) hates it as well, they want a minimum 2 year waiting period. But prefer one and done to direct entry from HS.

    The NBA PA isn’t crazy about it either. They want direct entry, but prefer one-and-done to any longer waiting period.

    • hiflew

      The zero/3 model in baseball only works because they have a well defined, multi tiered minor league system in place. The NBA doesn’t even have every team with one minor league franchise yet. The NBA needs to have at least 3 tiers of minor leagues if it is serious about taking in HS players again. They also need to revamp the roster to have something like baseball’s 25 and 40 man rosters. The NBA could do a 15 and 25 or so in order to allow development of players while maintaining their rights.

      One thing I really don’t want is a return of the late 90s/early 2000s joke of guys like Eddy Curry and Kwame Brown and Gerald Green being key players on teams when it is patently obvious that they are not ready for the NBA.

      • It works in baseball for that reason, but it could work in the NBA with multi minor league levels since guys coming straight out of HS are much closer to big league ready than they are in baseball. Straight from HS had issues, but it worked for many without any minor league system for years. One minor league level would be sufficient in the NBA. As far as zero/3, maybe in the NBA it would be zero/2 – since, again, guys are closer to ready. But the dual system, designed to allow those that are ready or don’t want to go to college to come out immediately, and others to go to college and develop there can work in the NBA.

    • LordBanana

      NBA teams want the one and done to end, which is why it will in a few years. They want these guys as soon as possible. Most of these prospects don’t play in roles that they would in the NBA.

      • xtraflamy

        Unless they are obvious superstars, most of those high school draftees toil for years in the minor leagues until they get more body development, strength, discipline and other seasoning.

    • cakirby

      In the contrary, this is a step toward the MLB model where most players get drafted out of high school and their first year of college and play in the minors for a few years. G-League is now taking that step toward being a minor league.

  4. Ptn18

    Does this mean schools don’t need to pay players any more-Dennis Smith, Wes Carter, Deandre Ayton, the Kansas and Arizona players, etc.

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