G League Development Program Revamped, Includes $500K Salaries

The NBA and G League development program for top high school prospects has been restructured, including salaries and incentives of $500K or more, as well as playing exhibitions rather than regular G League contests, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski report. Previously, the program offered prospects a $125K salary.

The revamped program helped entice ESPN’s No. 1 high school prospect, Jalen Green, to commit to the G League rather than sign with a college team.

The updated one-year development program will be conducted outside of the G League’s traditional team structure, according to the ESPN duo. Rather than playing regular-season games for a G League affiliate, these top prospects would join some veteran players for exhibition games against G League teams, foreign national teams and NBA academies throughout the world. The exhibitions against G League teams, approximately 10-12 games, wouldn’t count in the standings.

Additionally, the salary bonus structure in a player’s contract will likely include incentives for completing community events and attending life skills program coordinated by the G League, sources tell ESPN.

Previously, top prospects and their advisers had concerns about losing their draft value by being overmatched on G League rosters against more experienced and physically mature players.

The veteran pro players on the team could mentor Green and other prospects while potentially benefiting their own careers. Former NBA coach Sam Mitchell is expected to be a candidate to coach the team, according to the ESPN story.

G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim believes the updated program will be much more appealing to prospects than going overseas for a year. LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton, two of the top prep players last year, chose to play in the Australian league.

“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 counter-intuitive,” Abdur-Rahim said. “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 negotiations with the NBPA about eliminating the one-and-done rule for the draft remain stalled, per Woj and Givony, so the G League’s program provides a new bridge to the league for players who aren’t interested in going the college route. For now, those players – such as Green – will still become draft-eligible once they’re a year removed from high school.

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11 thoughts on “G League Development Program Revamped, Includes $500K Salaries

  1. Good deal; get the NCAA back to no one and dones, plus possibly having a nucleus of players making junior and senior status on teams.

    • mcmillankmm

      Once the high school players can go to the draft there won’t be anyone going to the G League

  2. richard dangler

    The biggest myth that has ever penetrated pro sports is that high schoolers can play in the nba. It should be 2 years in college before draft eligible.

    • El Don

      Moses Malone, Kemp, Garnett, Kobe, JO, LBJ & many more… are all myths! They never happened, right?

  3. x%sure

    An exhibition league, ideal for scouts. Perfect for the big little wanna-be 18yos. But does the ____”league” follow a viable economic plan? Will fans pay for it like the Harlem Globetrotters? (Instead of fans being entertained, they will sit in awe of the players’ future earning power.) Should the vets play soft to keep their jobs?

    In the link, espn says the youth are the NBA’s most precious resource. That idea is subject to getting blown up, good. The included list of college-skippers so far is one of disappointments.
    Predict colleges will get along okay without them, and the problems will remain, maybe added to.

    But if the ____ league is the plan, then that hurts the chances of 18yos in the NBA draft starting 2022(?). So, rooting for it.

  4. John Casper

    A few things;
    I see this as a way to get foreigners without having to wait for them and over pay.
    Zion wouldn’t have got the monster shoe deal he just got if he did this.
    The nba probably doesn’t want to babysit 18 year olds-this is a babysitting program.
    500k is too much.

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    Any real job in life. You need a degree. Better jobs better education. A mans body is not fully developed till in 20s. Yes it’s real if you have real talent (a singer). Doesn’t matter your age. You can make money. This is why athletes in college should own their rights. Get a big % of jersey sales. And of all their images and photos. It’s something. Also believe to play in NBA you should have a two yr degree. A big company has the right to ask education experience. This is a company, NBA is a team gm. One bad apple can set you back. It serves the NBA, the talent. Time for it to grow n mature. Nobody is coming in out of HS and giving u major mins. 2% maybe. Very few LeBrons out there. It’s also best that colleges get two yrs. But they should pay out a %. Gleague can also pay a bit more. But they should still have to get degree (on line) or whichever. Now they can over seas, make more money. But still would have to get 2 yr degree. 2 yrs of commitment to have it made for rest of life. Is not a big price to pay. Specially when it’s a passion a love. Not a job. Let’s face it. Only real talent has this option. Your talking about 2-10 kids a yr. With a REAL shot. Rest should really be getting education. And growing as human, physically, talent. 90% of players need 2-4 yrs to make real impact. 2 yrs to get your act together. is not a hindrance. To be set up for rest of life.IMO

    • El Don

      @KnickerbockerAl
      I do agree with a lot that you say… but it is a bit distasteful to say that you need a degree for a real job, what do you imply a real job is? Personally for me an accountant, teacher, lawyer, scientist & so on… ain’t real jobs. What keeps the world going round is plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, mechanics, farmers & son… Maybe their jobs are not as glamorous & their pay might be slightly lower, but their jobs are much more important for society & you don’t need a degree. Just saying, I ain’t wanna be dissing anyone but I do find that a lot of people doesn’t think much of the little man, but is the little man who builds & is the foundation of America, not the lawyers & others like them, anyway just my opinion, degrees ain’t worth the paper they are written on.

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