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NBA G League to offer new option for one-and-done talents

The NBA will soon go after elite high school prospects with a new “professional path” to the league, according to a new story on

Beginning next summer, the NBA G League will offer contracts to graduating high school seniors who are: (a) potential one-and-done talents; (b) at least 18 years old; and (c) not yet eligible for the NBA draft. The contracts will be worth $125,000 and will provide an alternate road for young stars, rather than spending a season in college basketball.

This professional alternative would allow players to hire agents, pursue marketing deals, profit off their own likeness — all things the NCAA does not allow — as well as develop in an NBA system with several off-court programs available, including the use of NBA facilities and training.

G League president Malcolm Turner told ESPN they will not pursue any players who are already committed to college basketball programs; although, if a player were to decommit on their own terms, they could then be targeted.

Should a player choose to take this route, they will be restricted to playing only one season on a G League Select Contract. They would then become automatically eligible for the next year’s draft.

[G League to offer $125K to elite prospects as alternative to college 1-and-done route]

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

41 Comments for NBA G League to offer new option for one-and-done talents

  1. 1111trevor26
    12:35 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Hopefully the NBA will let coaches know ahead of time who qualifies so Cal, K, etc can recruit who they know WONT be going so they don’t waste their time.

    • Cmart0907
      12:56 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      I agree 100%

    • Duff86
      7:50 am October 19, 2018 Permalink

      Hmmm, if I were an elite prospect would I want to play on national TV, fly on privately chartered jets, worry about absolutely nothing except basketball because my entire life is paid for (and if I go to a Nike school I know my family will be taken care of with out scandal because they’re smarter than Adidas or Under Armor) or ride the bus to play in a dumpster of a town on ESPN 15??? That’s a tough one. Nice try G-league. You’ll get the scraps.

    • Memphis UK Cat
      7:55 am October 19, 2018 Permalink

      This would explain why Cal has been recruiting a lot more people than normal.

  2. BlueBanker18
    12:36 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Well… college basketball is about to get a lot less exciting.

  3. Cmart0907
    12:55 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Well overdue.

    • mashburnfan1
      1:24 am October 19, 2018 Permalink

      The option to play for money instead of college has been there for a while, just not in the US. All these High School stars could have gone out of the US and played pro ball for a year then go to the draft instead of going to college. Just not many have done it, 1 that does come to mind is Brandon Jennings. I am sure the fear of leaving the Country had some reconsider and the fact many were getting paid in college had an impact. Now they can stay here and make good money, some will make millions on Nike, Addidas etc {legally}, we will see many more take that option.

  4. Catsfan1715
    12:57 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    If the NCAA doesn’t modify their amateurism rules soon then cbb will suffer quite a bit. Yes, less high end talent. But more than that many more kids so come from not so good situations will jump at the chance for 125k and then wash out bc they don’t have the foundation required for pro ball. Then they’ll have no scholarship to fall back on and no $ to pay for school. The only way to prevent this is for the NCAA to create an option more beneficial to the players. Ball is in their court now. This concerns $$ and notoriety so maybe now they’ll actually take action?

    • Aar
      1:48 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      Why should the NCAA change their basketball amateurism rules? The G-league will now skim off the one and done talent. College programs will develop multi-year talent and put a more competitive, consistent and, possibly, entertaining show on the court each March. Due to a long-term contract, CBS will continue to help the NCAA market March Madness and all will go on. If anything, I think this encourages the NCAA to implement a baseball-style eligibility rule in basketball.

      The kids who sign with the G-league will start their pro careers early. If they flop in the G-league they will still have ample opportunity to earn a generous living overseas. There will be plenty who don’t maximize the opportunity, get injured while uninsured, etc and that is truly unfortunate. To that end, Cal’s guaranteed 8 semesters is a good suggestion. All of us have borne risks and overcome setbacks in life. Each person needs the opportunity to make decisions. This G-league offering is just another option and it increases the competition for elite high school basketball talent.

    • Catsfan1715
      11:28 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      Part of what makes college basketball so exciting is getting to see top tier talent performs against seasoned vets. Imagine Anthony Davis goes straight to the G league. That sucks for college basketball (in my opinion). Same goes for KAT, Ayton, Kyrie, John wall- I could name more but you get my point. I know a lot of people would agree not having the opportunity to see players like that in college simply bc a lot of them are from bad areas and live in poverty and want only to provide for their families and would take that 125 out of survival and desperation. You wanna let them go, fine, but if they fail at least let them sit out a year (become re-eligible) and get an education and develop in college. Help them. I can countless players who probably wouldn’t be in the nba now if this option was available to them. I agree with cal’s sentiment and am behind the players. That just so happens to also align with my interests pertaining to watching the game of college basketball.

    • walden
      8:19 am October 19, 2018 Permalink

      @aar there will still be 1 and done players in NCAA basketball that doesn’t change. It’s wrong to assume kids will hang around for all four years of eligibility.

      The NCAA will change or their product will die, it’s that simple. This has truly been long overdue, my guess is positive change will come from the NCAA in regards to paying players equivalent to what they are worth.

      I used to assume all schools couldn’t afford it and there would be a talent gap too large between teams to make paying the kids work, but the FBI has proven everyone wrong, even if the schools can’t afford it shoe companies seem more than willing to make the investments.

  5. Cousins Fake Tooth
    1:09 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    UofL only offering 100k.

  6. DelrayCat
    1:30 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    UK will have no big men next year. Every uncommitted guy left will go pro now, right? Why wouldn’t Wiseman, Carey, Oscar, etc. all do this instead of going to college? This may be devastating to UK and Duke and a few others. Now you have the NBA actively recruiting against us.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:07 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      Oh, I don’t know… maybe they want to play for a Hall of Fame coach on the biggest stage, and practice and play against the best. How did we do back when high schoolers could go straight to the NBA?

    • Blue Bill
      6:02 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      And play for someone who is concerned with their development. You think that G league wanna be coach is gonna give a crap about “developing” them?

    • Cmart0907
      6:03 am October 19, 2018 Permalink

      Playing at UK or Duke will have a massive development on your talent than the G-League will anyway. Play against the best. Only have to do it 6 or 7 months. If you’re good enough to make the nba you’ll get there no matter what path you take. I think it depends on their families finances. But , if they been struggling this long 6 or 7 months won’t hurt. 125k sounds good. But I’m going to college for my short period of time. WAYYYYY MORE RESOURCES

  7. UKLugo
    1:31 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    The changes the whole face of the 2019 recruiting class.

  8. Aar
    1:32 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Big picture – Hooray! Long overdue.

    Big Blue Picture – Does this take Wiseman, Carey, Anthony and others off Cal’s board? Does it put Whitney and Maxey at risk of not signing the commitments they verbally agreed to? If I were in their position, I’d be deep in thought today.

    Some of these kids will be signing for much more than $125K. They’re allowed to endorse. How many millions will Nike offer the next Anthony Davis to sign out of high school? That initial contract would be much less expensive for Nike than waiting a year and life changing for the kid and their family.

    • Aar
      1:52 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      Oh, yeah. If I were Oscar Tshiebwe, I’d be rethinking which hat I’d choose this weekend. He could be “The Man” at Kentucky next year!

    • J. Did
      5:04 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      Oscar Tshiebwe will go pro.

  9. Catcasey1
    1:32 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    College basketball will be just fine without them

    • davis2319
      1:41 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      College basketball will still be competitive, but it will suck losing out on seeing that top talent in college. Even though they would be in college for just a year anyways.

    • Kat4Life
      2:13 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      This is long overdue, and probably something Cal has known about for sometime….. at least the possibility of it. There are many facets to this situation, and it will take time for it to reach equilibrium. One thing is for certain however, this season but comes all the more precious to Kentucky fans….. as it may well be the last season we are able to showcase the type of talent we’ve enjoyed since Cal arrived

  10. davis2319
    1:39 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    I say a consensus top 10-15 only get the invite. The NBA should determine their own list of players and invite them. Should not be based off recruiting websites.

  11. truthteller
    1:44 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    This sucks for college basketball, but is brilliant for the G-league. Their ticket sales are going to be much better having this kind of talent there.

    Could you imagine having a player like Anthony Davis only there for a year?

    On the other hand, I’m sure some players will see it as hollow and want that year to chase a title…. at least I hope so.

  12. CatfaninGA
    1:45 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Worst Idea in the history of ideas. So there is no guaranteed multi year contract, just we’ll sign you up for $125k then next year, If you’re good enough, you might get drafted. This leaves guys like the Harrison twins and numerous others who came out of HS as “one and dones” who were not ready and wouldn’t have been likely drafted out in the wind and no college eligibility. So then they either go overseas or end up with nothing. Either take them out of HS or don’t. The best thing would be to raise the age of draft eligibility and for the Universities create a major that is geared toward giving these guys better life skills so that when they do end up on the NBA they don’t end up broke 5 years after they retire.

  13. mgwolfe
    2:05 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Injury possibility and can’t go back and get a scholarship for an education. Scary stuff. 125K not sure if it is worth it

  14. StuckinLville
    2:26 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    This is dumb. You have guys that u think will be one and done but don’t even get drafted like Trevon Duvall, and guys like SGA who people didnt twice about end up in the lottery.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:33 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      In that case, the Duvalls will go G league for a year and the SGA’s will go to college, then whatever happens happens. They could both end up in the NBA, just taking different paths to get there.

  15. recliner coach
    3:02 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Now having a competitive team will come down to coaching rather than relying on talent.

  16. Wade
    3:23 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    125k and get injured or come to uk and use 20 min a game with other talents. Then get mills,We still eat first.

    • ClutchCargo
      3:57 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. UK basketball didn’t become UK basketball because of lack of a G league. Fewer top players will just mean those other programs won’t get their share.

  17. Wade
    3:23 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Need commitments to sign and be real. If they want to leave great and if they bank on moving up don’t sign til late but a commitment must mean something

  18. michaelb
    6:01 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Yea this changes so much stuff can’t even begin to point it all out . NCAA jus took a big hit

  19. michaelb
    6:02 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    This is exactly what lavar ball was trying to implement . Poor guy just got stepped on

    • steve simpson
      11:51 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

      Was just thinking same thing. He actually was the one who had a plan.

  20. Aristocat
    6:08 pm October 18, 2018 Permalink

    Making money off their own likeness and endorsements? Who is going to care enough to pay for merch from kids that no one knows, and who won’t have any TV coverage?

  21. runningunnin.454
    8:47 am October 19, 2018 Permalink

    College ball will be fine; even if UK, Duke, etc have “Wisconsin” talent, people will still support and watch their teams. Hell, I watch Harvard play Yale or Princeton sometimes.

  22. friendsofcoal
    9:15 am October 19, 2018 Permalink

    I would imagine that Coach Cal is now pondering on his future pretty hard. I’m thinking about him coaching without any OAD’s and I just can’t picture it.

  23. Wade
    2:52 pm October 19, 2018 Permalink

    After taxes,traveling on buses ,sleeping in Howard Johnson’s, and never being on tv, what’s to think about? Sucks to me. Could go to any blue blood and be spoiled like a 18 yr old would like and make millions in 10 months! Uk flys on planes,chills in the Bahamas at Atlantis, has great coaches, doctors, facility’s, I don’t get it only top players go to top programs if anything it leans them away from small states and hometowns to only blue bloods. I believe at least. We have no worry’s. NCAA needs to step it up though and have packages for parents to make a few games and big games. Need insurance, they do make money and have schollys and food and rooms plus gear and other perks worth more than that 125k. The classes still matter and a lifetime scholly matters!!! Big time! Went to the d league on a resume or uk! It matters! Life after b-ball is real and connections are real! These big name kids should be paid on there name also ,there’s a few big time players and fan favorites that will make money and that’s it but that’s a privilege. You can’t pay everyone bc they all don’t sell jerseys. Running a school cost a lot of money also so schools can’t be greedy and can’t use people because your a large establishment. Lots of money is made. It’s not hard to figure out a player sees a jersey sold and want money for it. I would!!! Go cats!!!!