Is the NBA G League’s expanding tent destined to snatch some ballers from the NCAA’s clutches?
That seems to be the case following the G League’s announcement of the creation of a “Professional Path,” which will offer elite prospects who are too young to enter the NBA Draft an alternative route to the NBA starting next summer. The path will include $125,000 contracts, the chance to train at NBA facilities and access to a myriad of other off-court development programs the top league offers. The G League also will eschew amateurism rules that stifle players’ earning power by allowing them to hire agents and sign endorsement contracts.
G League president Malcolm Turner told ESPN NBA developmental teams won’t recruit players who already have committed to schools in 2019 but he also said the league would accept players who choose to decommit. While just seven of ESPN’s top 100 high school players remain uncommitted to college programs, many observers already are speculating whether the G League’s “Professional Path” will weaken NCAA basketball’s talent pool, as the NBA considers lowering its age limit to 18 in an effort to stem the flow of one-and-done players, who pass through college en route to the pros.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski doesn’t believe the G League’s “Professional Path” represents a major threat to college basketball.
It will take a few years to determine what impact the G League’s scheme has on big-time college basketball. Until that happens, the NCAA and its fans should take comfort in Wojnarowski’s instant analysis.
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