Mixed feelings about the Next Stars.
The Hawks actually did something like this years ago when they signed Doug Overton. Doug had been signed (by Detroit?) and they wanted him to play a year in a pro comp. He was great and he went back to have a decent career in the NBA. But, the thing is, he did stick it out the whole year. And he was older, having done college.
The Next Star kids are great athletes but they are just kids. Playing against men. I started playing men's comps as an 18 year old and getting bruised and beat up by guys in their 20s and 30s. Having said that, the NBL is a "gentler" comp than the NBA. Only 28 games (plus finals), 40 minute games and only 1 or 2 a week. So, in that way, it's a good intro, gives them a year to harden up.
ALso, other players that have done similar things in the past (Ferguson, Bowen) stayed the whole season. This year Lamelo and RJ have both decided (or had the decision made) to pull out early. In the future, if teams will be happy to have a "star" player for half the season, then it could continue. It is then up to the clubs as to how they deal with that.