High School Basketball Prospects Changing College Paths

NCAA sports do not pay their student-athletes. A topic that has been up to debate the last few years. The argument that NCAA profits off its players, but players can be punished for making money off their talents. Arguments include that elite players already have a free scholarship. One of the sports that comes into question is basketball. Over the years, the NBA has put rules in place that players have to go to college for at least one year, before being drafted. Now, there are ways around this. Players can go play internationally, like LaMelo Ball. However, a new opportunity is presenting itself here in America.

The NBA G-League, formerly known as the D-League, before Gatorade became an official title sponsor. The G-League is now a minor league that farms athletes for NBA teams. The concept is similar to minor league baseball. The G-League has become more prominent in the last decade, with now every NBA team being affiliated with a G-League team. Contracts are around $30,000 to $40,000.

Jalen Green is the top high school recruit and the first to sign with the G-League. The image is taken from NBA.Com. All rights reserved to NBA.com.

However, that is being changed. The league can now offer up to $120,000 for select prospects. The prospects in question? The top high school players. Three of the top players in high school, who would have spent next year in the NCAA, before being drafted into the NBA, have decided to sign with the G-league.  Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix have all signed with the G-League.

Todd had committed to Michigan. Nix was signed by UCLA. Both decided to negate their commitments to sign with the G-league. Nix is highly considered to be the top point guard for the 2021 draft after his one year NCAA eligibility. Todd is a big athletic power forward. Green is the cream of the crop. He is expected to be the number one draft pick in 2021.

This changes the landscape for players in basketball to become professionals and enter the NBA. Complaints about the huge turnover due to NCAA basketball players of elite talent going to the NBA after a year is ruining college basketball. Now, with the G-League offering higher contracts, college basketball might lose the opportunity to even signed elite high school players.

Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski was interviewed about it on NBA.Com. ““It’s affected our game,” Krzyzewski said. “Really, anybody can win. I’m not saying that’s bad. I’m saying that’s what happened. … If you look at this as a business, the amount of guys going (to the NBA), the amount of guys testing (the NBA waters), the amount of guys transferring, whoa. Whoa. It’s a lot. It’s a lot.”

Recently, the NCAA has decided to have each division write their own rules on how to allow college athletes to make money off their names and talents.  The president citing that times are different and they [NCAA] have to change with it. The NCAA will have to wait on each state legislature before moving forward with it, but this is a win for college athletes, who bring in millions for their schools. For college basketball, this is an important change that needs to happen as the rise of the G-League continues to become a threat.