The NBA G League is prepared to offer an alternative path for elite prospects who are not draft eligible and star high school basketball players who would likely be "one-and-done" players in the NCAA ranks. In addition to the six-figure deal, they will also be given the benefit of an NBA-like infrastructure for training and other off-court development programs "geared toward facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game", league president Malcolm Turner said. As of now, players have to be 19 years old or a year removed from high school to be draft eligible.
"We believe this is an answer to that call", Turner told ESPN.
"We appreciate the NBA's decision to provide additional opportunities for those who would like to pursue their dream of playing professionally, Emmert said in statement". These offerings are slated to include basketball workouts during the summer months through existing NBA infrastructure like NBA Summer League and NBA Academies, year-round education programs created to increase players' ability to personally and professionally manage their careers, and a scholarship program for athletes who want to pursue higher education after their playing days.
The G League is very much the minor leagues, full of early-connecting flights, long bus rides and small gyms, while big-time colleges are still afforded the luxuries of private jets and full fervent crowds.
Turner said the league will be selective with its players, seeking a "strong emphasis on character and readiness to join a pro league".
How will the G League's contracts work?Article X of the National Basketball Association collective bargaining agreement already covers this for all draft-eligible American prospects: If a player renders services under contract for any non-NBA professional team prior to January 1, he is automatically placed in the next draft.
G League officials are still considering how to address these concerns, with room for flexibility both before the program officially launches and once it is running. But now there's another way for them to make money for a year rather than going to school if they so choose it.