NBA G-League to Offer Contracts to Elite Prospects

Submitted by ish on October 18th, 2018 at 12:28 PM

There's a lot still to be worked out, but the NBA, via the G-League is taking steps to eliminate one and dones who don't want to go to college.  The idea will be offer a select, higher paying, contract to elite high school graduates who either indicate that they do not want to go to college, or have not committed and are thus identified by the NBA.

As the article states, it still is unclear how this will work or how many players would be eligible for this new contract.  But it's clear that the NBA is taking steps to get rid of one and done in a manner other than bringing the draft eligibility age back down to 18.




October 18th, 2018 at 12:32 PM ^

This won’t have an impact on elite prospects. Actually just give them negotiating leverage with bag men. Gleague is trash, and could hurt draft stock. Playing against grown men. 


October 18th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

"problem" in what sense?  it's the NBA that thinks there is a problem.  they think 18 year olds are too young and immature to play in the NBA.  if you want real evidence of that, well...i'm not sure you're going to find it.

in all likelihood the real reason was that they were handing out huge contracts to busts and want another year of scouting against competition they can better measure.


October 18th, 2018 at 2:31 PM ^

It's not my argument. It was one of the stated reasons the NBA went to the one and done program. But I would bet statistics show that old folks, or even older folks, are more responsible with their money on average than an 18 year old. There are plenty of 18 year olds that are good with their money, and plenty of 60 year olds that are not, but that's not really the argument here, and a fairly meaningless, simplified rebuttal.

Also are any athletes really getting paid what they're worth? It seems to me they're getting paid way more than their worth in a larger, societal capacity, so limiting many aspects of their salary, amongst other particular professions, might indeed be wise.  


October 18th, 2018 at 2:51 PM ^

It was a misguided reason then and it's a misguided argument now. You want to limit someone's salary because they might be more likely to spend it on things you don't think they should? 

I'd also need to see some hard evidence that 18 year olds are more likely to be irresponsible with their money than 60 year olds, because based on how many older folks I hear talk about their spending habits and credit card debt and keeping up with the joneses, I don't think that's necessarily true.


October 18th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

Id like to see this too.  But it takes a lot of players to have a football team.  Let's say 50 on the left w end.  Even if you have a small 6 team NFL G  leauge, which I honestly think could be profitable.  In large non NFL cities, and open it to say 18-22 year olds, that's roughly 75 elite prospects per year your removing from the pool teams line Michigan can recruit from.  

Maybe it could be less young kids from highschool and more 21 and 22 year old drafted rookies that can be assigned to those teams like the NBA g league.  Still that is a lot of athletes to run even a small leauge.


October 18th, 2018 at 12:43 PM ^

This is kinda dumb right?  The injury risk is probably not worth the salary unless they can get insured like some college kids do.  But there's no visibility so some kids will also be hurting their longer term marketability.  Not sure what to think but the salary seems a bit too low and like someone said, the bagmen can hit this number pretty easily for elite prospects.

UP to LA

October 18th, 2018 at 1:27 PM ^

Doesn't have the same cultural barriers as playing overseas, and also doesn't have the same developmental pitfalls. Guys who go overseas get playing time to the extent that they're able to help a club of grown men win games against other grown men, and the result can be scant usage and stalled development. The NBA, on the other hand, would have a huge incentive to help develop prospects who go the G-League route, which is likely to translate to more generous minutes and more focused developmental coaching.

UP to LA

October 18th, 2018 at 1:22 PM ^

I think this is great. If it takes hold, it would allow elite players the ability to focus on their game and make money without the pretense of amateurism or scholarship (and I think we can all agree that both are a pretense for a large share of elite players). I'm less confident about what it would mean for bagmen, but my intuition is that it would take away a substantial portion of elite players who currently receive bagmen cash, drive up the price for the rest, and probably not have much direct effect on players the next level down. The end result, I think, would be a somewhat more balanced competitive landscape as far as pure talent goes.


October 18th, 2018 at 2:20 PM ^

about time... they should be allowed to be drafted now and stashed in the G league too.


I am a big NO on paying college athletes. Every professional league should allow 18 year olds instead of pushing them to college.

I understand that is difficult with the nature of football. Just because it is allowed doesnt mean teams will be drafting true freshman. Use the NHL approach where they can stay in school but still be paid into escrow.

Perkis-Size Me

October 18th, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

I'll be very interested to see how they define who is "elite" and who isn't. Will it be based on recruiting rankings or what exactly? I imagine they're not going to give just HS player a G-league contract. I'm also going to be very curious on how this will change the roster makeup of the Dukes and Kentuckys of the world. I'm sure they'll still get the best players left who didn't go to the G-league, but will each of their rosters still be stacked with kids who can realistically leave for the league after one year? Don't know. But I imagine this doesn't make guys like Calipari, Bill Self and Coach K all that happy. 

Either way, I like the idea. If you know basketball is what you want to do with your life and you have the skills to play professionally right now, then you should be able to go do it. You're definitely taking a risk by jumping from HS straight to the pros, but if you're 18 years old, you're old enough to make your own decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions. 


October 18th, 2018 at 3:11 PM ^

This is a positive step but I doubt a ton of guys will go for it.

You can still get paid to play college ball (sometimes more!) and get a lot more exposure. Generally most top prospects will also look better against college kids than grizzled pros.

Guessing maybe a handful of prospects do this each year with the ineligible top guys the main participants. 


October 25th, 2018 at 8:30 PM ^

A player's salary is going to be based on his value to the club he's playing for, which at this level isn't much. What's a g-league team turning in merchandise and ticket sales? I think people get misled by college athletics' unique ability to leverage fans' attachment to their schools. Take that away, set up minor league football or basketball, and you aren't going to see stadiums packed with tens of thousands, or $10 billion in wagering on a single event.

But a player's valuation in the futures market is a different matter entirely, as this article should make clear:

A New Option for N.B.A. Prospects: The Million-Dollar Intern

That's a million dollars guaranteed for a three-month internship for a player fresh out of high school who's not even going to play.

Good luck competing with that.


October 18th, 2018 at 3:15 PM ^

I love it. Put pressure on the NCAA to make changes to make the game better. CBB has been getting worse over the years and doesn't hold a candle to what it used to be. I like the idea of a farm system.


Allow the kids to get real money too, not capped at $50k or whatever the number is now. Let them make a few 100k and get those looking for handouts out of the NCAA.