Game changer!


In a move that could challenge the NCAA’s monopoly on elite talent, the NBA’s G League is creating a new venture as an alternative to the one-and-done route for the best American basketball prospects, league president Malcolm Turner told ESPN.

As part of a newly formed “professional path” starting in the summer of 2019, the G League will offer “Select Contracts” worth $125,000 to elite prospects who are at least 18 years old but not yet eligible for the NBA draft. It will target recent or would-be high school graduates who otherwise would have likely spent just one season playing college basketball, enticing them not only with a six-figure salary but also the opportunity to benefit from NBA infrastructure, as well as a bevy of off-court development programs “geared towards facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game,” Turner said.

Without the restrictions of the NCAA’s amateurism rules, players will also be free to hire agents, profit off their likeness and pursue marketing deals from sneaker companies and the like, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsement opportunities to top prospects.


Love that closing line snark.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

19 responses to “Game changer!

  1. DawgPhan

    Will be interested to see if anyone takes the bait.

    I suspect that $125k might not be enough to lure the top top guys, but could be right for some.

    Also interested in anyone would rather watch a g-league tournament with better players over march madness. Or if they eat into those revenues for the NCAA.


  2. AusDawg85

    $125k is a lot of video games, sneakers and pizza, but playing for Coach K is worth a lot more. Schools could probably up the ante on qualifying academics to avoid one and dones, but don’t see any real incentive to do that.


  3. Derek

    It’s a start.


    • It’s nothing.

      The college money will still be there. It just that instead of spending it on the A-listers (assuming they go to the G League), they’ll just spend it on the B-listers.

      It’ll always boil down to buying the best available talent.


      • But Calipari could have his talent pool cut back at least some…?


      • Derek

        I guess we’ll see. If the unpaid guys at Iowa are getting killed by the paid guys at Duke and UK because their potential talent pool is reduced, who knows what they’ll do?

        It’s not like MOST colleges are cheating here. Most aren’t. If the competition gets even more unfair maybe the herd seeks changes.

        If you’re Vandy football in this scenario and you fall even further behind alabama, do you just take it?


  4. Sanford222view

    This seems like a step in the right direction similar to baseball. I think the NBA should just go back to letting players come straight from high school if they are viewed as being talented enough.

    Speaking of high school, I went to high school in Atlanta with Malcolm and
    his twin sister. I knew he was working with the G-League but didn’t realize he was the league president now. Good on him.


  5. Gaskilldawg

    I do not know how important a factor this will be with HS kids looking to make a choice between G League and college. A college has limits on how ws much time per week it can work on a student athlete’s game. The G League coaches can spend all day every developing the prospect’s skills. The G League kid after 1 year would be further along in development than the Duke kid after one year.


  6. MGW

    I’ll never understand the objection to just allowing these kids to have endorsement deals just like any other college kid on any non-athletic scholarship is allowed to.


    • Derek

      No one would promise to endorse a high school recruit would they?

      Come to Texas and you can be Longhorn Chevy of Austin’s spokesperson!

      That wouldn’t happen would it?

      The reason they don’t allow it is pretty obvious. It will never be about market. It will be about a manipulation of it.

      You could say that those deals would be based on value shown while in college and make it a violation to discuss it in advance but that’s naive and these kids would eventually make NASCAR vehicles look under endorsed.

      Every business with a interest in college football would have 85 “spokespeople.”

      Kid has a shit game and the guy at the local “ACME” cuts him off because he doesn’t like him and that kid says “coach I ain’t playing until dude pays me my money!”

      Doesn’t take much thought to see that as a complete disaster.

      Any gamblers who would want to sweeten this weeks pay? For better or worse?



  7. Macallanlover

    Something similar to this is what I think could happen in football. It would take the guys only interested in immediate pay and who could care less about the education part of CFB. I still think there would be a lot of talent in CFB, and my primary hope is CFB remains competitive even with fewer 4 & 5 star athletes. I see it as a developmental league and could be attractive for the WWL on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Keep the number of teams down to about 8 and let them play in each region of the country, similar to what conferences once did before whacky expansion.


    • TN Dawg

      I wish Vince McMahon would open up his new venture to 18 year olds.

      He could grab a lot of the ones that don’t really want to be in college and end the farce that the players are students.


  8. Patrick

    If no kids go to G League, isn’t that ammo for all amateur purists who insist that college coaching, exposure, facilities, etc is worth a lot more than the scholly value?

    It would mean the scholly is “worth” at least $125k, right?