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BREAKING: UCLA signee Daishen Nix will bypass college, sign with G League

USA Basketball

USA Basketball

The G League has signed yet another high-profile prospect.

This afternoon, news broke that UCLA signee and top-ranked point guard Daishen Nix will bypass the college ranks and will sign a deal with the NBA G League.

Nix – the No. 11 prospect in the 247Sports Top 247 – joins top-three prospect Jalen Green and five-star forward Isaiah Todd to make the jump from high school to the G League over the last two weeks.

The five-star point guard announced his commitment to UCLA back in August and signed during the early signing period.

Bobby Reagan of Barstool Sports was the first to publicly hint at the news yesterday before confirming Nix’s decision this afternoon. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Evan Daniels of 247Sports were among the other individuals to confirm the news, as well.

According to Charania, Nix’s deal with the G League is expected to be in the $300,000 range.

During his “Coffee with Cal” conversation with Charles Barkley on Monday morning, John Calipari said while he supports players going directly from high school to the NBA if they are talented enough, his biggest issue with the G League is that it sets a difficult academic precedent with younger athletes assuming this route is the best fit for them.

With how selective the G League will be in signing players, many players are going to be caught assuming they are good enough to sign lucrative deals, only to find out they won’t be academically eligible for college because they haven’t been preparing themselves in the classroom.

“My issue with the G League trying to entice players by giving them more money is not the kids that you’re getting, it’s the thousands of ninth and tenth graders that think that’s how they’re going to make it when you and I know it’s going to be two percent,” Calipari said. “We’re not talking 50 [percent]. It’s going to be thousands and thousands and thousands. I think kids should go directly from high school to the NBA if they can. If not, go to college if you have a lifetime scholarship. And I don’t want to hear, ‘Well, we’ll give lifetime scholarships.’ If a kid as a ninth or tenth grader wasn’t preparing himself for college, he can only go to a trade school. So, if he doesn’t make the G League, he’s in a trade school.”

Barkley added that players assuming they’ll be the next LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or Kevin Garnett – three players who made the jump from high school to the NBA and developed into superstars – are mistaken.

“What are the chances that you’re going to be LeBron, Kobe, or Kevin Garnett?” Barkley continued. “Let’s be realistic: Kobe Bryant struggled and he’s one of the greatest ever. Kevin Garnett struggled. LeBron is the only player in my 30, almost 40 years in the NBA who was ready to come out of high school and go directly to the NBA. And you’re talking about the top guys. The rest of these guys, they are not ready.”

And players fascinated with the $500,000 deal Jalen Green took? Barkley wants them to know that’s closer to $200,000 in real money after taxes and fees.

“They were making a big deal that he made half a million dollars,” Barkley said. “First of all, Cal, you and me both know that ain’t half a million dollars. By the time he pays taxes, pays his agent, he’s gonna have $200,000.”

Despite the increase in salaries – players can now earn anywhere from $300,000-$500,000, plus sponsorships and endorsements – Calipari argued that a year at a school like Kentucky will still result in more money for prospects down the line.

“I want to see in the next four to five years, the kids that chose to go college, how they did because the money you’re going to get is negligible compared to what you will get if you really are good and get to your second contract. You have to get to your second contract. If you want to have that money that you have Charles, you have to get to that second deal. And if you’re young enough, you want to get to that third deal but that’s where it all is.”

Nix was once seen as a potential point guard option for Kentucky in the 2020 recruiting class, with the UK coaching staff pushing for a guard trio of Nix, Green, and BJ Boston, with Josh Christopher looming as a potential fourth option.

Instead, Calipari pushed for commitments from five-star guards Terrence Clarke and Devin Askew to play alongside Boston in the 2020-21 backcourt.

This news is also significant for scheduling purposes, as UCLA is expected to play Kentucky this season in the CBS Sports Classic on Dec. 19. When the Wildcats take on Mick Cronin’s UCLA squad, the Bruins will now be without their star point guard.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

15 Comments for BREAKING: UCLA signee Daishen Nix will bypass college, sign with G League



  1. UKLugo
    12:44 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Ouch.



  2. Han
    12:53 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Our schedule next year is really taking a hit with these blows to UCLA and Michigan.



  3. BlueBanker18
    12:56 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Something tells me the G League is really playing up the uncertainty of next season. We could see more of this as it gets closer if we don’t start getting some real info. Step it up, NCAA.



  4. crazycatfan65
    1:02 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    I.m sorry but once a kid signs with a school, the G-League should be MADE to back off of that kid. Wonder what would be the reaction if a kid signed with a school, then all of a sudden the school said thanks but no thanks we are going in a different direction? This is wrong on many levels.



    • Megan
      2:24 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

      Back off? Why, because it gives the kid opportunity? This isn’t like another school poaching a player who has already committed. If opportunity knocks and you have a chance financially to do what’s best for you and your family, in the short term at least, that’s far more important than letting down the fans of the school you chose. It’s disappointing for the school, but so what?



    • OldSchoolCat
      3:22 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

      When is the NCAA going to stand up to the NBA to protect college sports. I am glad kids have an option to get paid out of high school if they want to but the NBA should set a deadline the same as withdrawing from the draft to accept a G league offer. The NCAA should pass a ruling that any player who has eligibility remaining can return to school after the draft if they want. The NBA might cooperate a little if they had to worry about wasting a draft pick on a college player who might go back to school.



  5. TonyMontana
    1:03 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    I think these players deserve to get paid. But I’m kinda mad at the G-League for going after players who have already signed a letter of intent. You feel me?



  6. The Professor
    1:21 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Just about every time Cal backs off a player it turns out to be a great decision. He definitely knows the scoop on these kids and who fits best.



  7. Dustin Rumbaugh
    1:25 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    We should just start calling it the “hungry for money” league. And I don’t even mean the kids themselves. I mean the ones around them “advising” them. Spend all your life developing a talent that could be anthony davis 400 million money and you cash in your chips when you barely scratched the surface of your talent. Get uncle a new car and destroy your career. That’s exactly what is going on.



  8. TonyMontana
    1:49 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    Why does the G-League prefer these kids come to them for a year rather than go to college? What’s Adam Silver doing? Is this even worth it for the NBA? Couldn’t they just allow kids to go pro and be done with it? When you look at the infrastructure being put into this experiment — the academy, the accommodations, the financial investment — it’s tens of millions of dollars. And who will watch these kids play? How will they even market them? What’s the return on investment? Are they simply spending money to prevent these kids from playing 1 year in Australia? What does that even matter, we all know the NBA is the ultimate destination.

    The NBA see’s decades in to the future, who knows their grand plan. But one thing is clear with this investment, this is the new one and done. The NBA has NO intention to allow high school kids to go straight to the NBA anytime soon, but they want to make sure they can control and market that asset as soon as possible.



    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      2:03 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

      The G League works for players coming back from injury or developing European or post-college players. But the NBA is shooting itself in the foot by robbing college of its biggest potential stars. College was a free minor league system for the NBA. And it made whole canvases fall in love with kids and want to see their careers succeed.



  9. UKinIN
    2:37 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    A year at Duke took Zion from the no. 7 pick to no. 1. Made him something like $10m. These kids, and probably advisors, don’t really that if things don’t go well that $300K check could be the biggest they ever sign. The players have the right to play professionally but there are some situations where patience and putting in extra work pays off.



  10. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    3:12 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

    I read an article talking about kids going this route. The total deal is close to a million when you factor everything in. Plus, kids can sign their shoe deals. Almost any recruit/handler that turns this deal down is getting paid somewhere else. Not saying schools are paying. But they he ate getting money somewhere. And I’m pointing and laughing at anyone who is dumb enough to disagree.



    • Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
      3:14 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

      * But they are getting money



    • tncatrn
      4:52 pm April 28, 2020 Permalink

      They getting some money….but i doubt Nike is just lining up to sign dudes in the G league…