A New Path to the NBA: Woj on the G League's Program

ESPN Daily


Woge? It has now been three weeks since number. One ranked high school recruit Jalen Green announced on instagram. That he'd be passing on numerous college offers to instead. Become part of the new improved G. League professional pathway program. That's what it's called Q. Explain what it is and how it began Meena. It's it's really a bridge between the end of the wounded done era in college basketball in the NBA and what had existed which was really limited options for an elite high school player to do anything but go to college basketball. They put this program place. Two years ago and they started off with players they fell would be first. Round picks were highly regarded coming out of high school. One hundred twenty five thousand dollars a year would be assigned to League team and then you would enter the following years draft. They could not get anybody in that. I really year year and a half to commit to that program. A couple reasons. I think even more than the money agents and those who would advise high school players advised against the idea of going to the G. League where it seven. Let's say eighteen years old. You're going to be playing against grown men in there who played college who played overseas who've been in the NBA back and forth maybe mid twenties late twenties and they would hurt your intentionally hurt your draft stock where you be physically overmatched. It is a difficult lifestyle especially for young person. It's not charter. Flights it's not four seasons and Ritz. Carlton's it's the southwest flight connecting it midway Chicago to get the Iowa City. Adam silver was very moved by the fact that Lamelo Ball in R J Hampton to the top players in this two thousand twenty draft when to Australia next year take my talents to the NBA. Laura Hawks next year I will be going overseas to play an Australian basketball even with the New Zealand. Breaking choke deals in that five hundred thousand dollar a year range and there was not really an option for them. Here there are things we should be doing differently. So that for an American player who decides college isn't for me and I want to spend fulltime devoted to the game of basketball. That's my best chance to be in the NBA. There should be an alternative opportunity in the US spurred silver to push ref- Abderrahim. Who is the president of the G. League she and Rod Strickland Former all-star Mba guard who also works for the G. League in the NBA as part of this program? They've been out in the field. They've been out talking the families players and coaches and they certainly explained to Adam silver. We've got to change this program. So they updated this program specifically for players like Jalen Green. What exactly does it look like now. This is essentially a select team that will be comprised of the players coming out of high school and then veteran players who might otherwise be in the G. League who would get paid comparable salary to come play here. Play a mentor. Ship role to these players. Perhaps players on the back end of their career might like to who might have an I- already on coaching or working in a fraud office will working for the League and also realize that. There's going to be a great deal of scouting attention paid to this group of players. Nba and that. This might not be a bad place for them to still be seen as viable players right now. So that's the makeup of a roster. The coaches will be coaches that people have heard of with NBA coaching experience. Some of them former head coaches and they'll play a schedule that will include G. League teams but not a fulltime jelly schedule. So they'll play perhaps exhibitions against G. League teams. They might play national teams. Who might be touring from different countries? Different parts of the year. I was told they might go to Australia. Where there's an NBA Academy maybe play some Exhibition Games? There and stay there for awhile and train and move around and now the program became more appealing for the top level player. And you've seen now if you players make that leap when you say. It's more appealing in the financial. Incentives are better. How much better we talking? Well Jalen Greens deal with the G. League is around. Five hundred thousand dollars that includes incentives. I'm told that there's a base salary and then there's incentives for essentially just completing. Maybe it's a community service program or a life skills program things that are part of it that they disincentivize financially now. Every player is not going to get five hundred thousand dollars. Jalen green was a number one player in his class. And if you listen to John Devonian Mike. Schmitz are dropping analysts. And I listen to those guys. They tell me that he would have competed to be the number one. Pick in this coming draft and right now he's you know projected to be that in the two thousand twenty one draft so there was. I think a great credibility for the NBA The G. League to get a player that caliber come into this program that he might be a little bit of a Pied Piper for others but they're not going to pay all these guys five hundred thousand some of them the pay more than the one twenty five but they're really negotiating that and remember that. Those players inside endorsement deals. If there's somebody who wants to pay them to wear shoes jailing green again is is a player who see your companies have great interested Not all the players are going to get big endorsement deals and then there is a component that they will go back. There's a partnership with Arizona State and with the NBA. And you could go back and get your degree hate for by the League later on at some point and so those are the benefits of this for players who decide. They don't want to go to college or meetings. In some instances where players become eligible and can't go play college basketball. You mentioned that players. Who Do this can also get endorsement deals? Which at the same time this is happening the NC Double A. Just came out and said were exploring the idea of letting our college players also have endorsements with of course many caveats and limitations this being the NCW TC. All of this is being connected while the shaves but exploring for quite a long time. They always seem to sort of stay in exploration mode. And when you start to dig down into the fine print of what they talk about doing. It isn't what maybe the headline was of of trust. Release or a report about it. I will say this being a part of the. Nba's thinking was that they were reacting. I think a little bit to the Condoleeza Rice commission slash report which a couple years ago essentially said the NBA should do away with one and done. We must separate the college track from the professional track by ending one and done the NCAA stance was that the players who do not want to be in college. There should be an avenue for them to bypass college and that we should take them in here if they don't want be here and so the NCAA on one level has encouraged this of the NBA. Now part of the problem is the NBA and the Players Association. They have not been able to agree on the terms of ending one and done we call on the NBA and the N. Bpa power here to once again make eighteen year old eligible for the NBA draft so that high school players who were drafted may proceed directly to the NBA in theory. Both of them both sides the union. The League would like to end one and done. There was a sense that that this would have gotten done last year. But there are terms of an agreement that they can't come to to end it. And this may be shelved now all the way until the next collective bargaining agreement two thousand twenty four twenty five so for the NCAA right now like this is what they asked for and whether or not they loosen the ability for players to earn money in college or off lightness or however that happens then. I think that will impact this. But let's I still think there's going to be a lot of players who would rather go to college because by the way meaner if you WANNA get paid. There are plenty of places in college basketball that you can go and make money equivalent to what the Julius paying. And that's that's just a fact you're referring of course to the fact that it's an open secret that college kids get paid under the table. Me Knock. I've broken a few stories along the way. I don't think I'M BREAKING MATT. One of your with you right now.

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