Earlier this year
NBA responds to NBL Next Stars program
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim have worked to eliminate two massive hurdles to convincing players uninterested in college basketball to pass on the lucrative National Basketball League of Australia by providing a massive salary increase and a structure that doesn't include playing full time in the G League.
California high school star Jalen Green, the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 ESPN 100, is making the leap to a reshaped NBA professional pathway program -- a G League initiative that sources say will pay elite prospects $500,000-plus and provide a one-year development program outside of the minor league's traditional team structure.
Green -- a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft -- announced Thursday that he is bypassing college to become the professional pathway's first participant, a decision that likely clears the way for more commitments from elite prospects.
His decision to join the NBA and G League's development program for the 2020-21 season has broad implications for the future of the NCAA and NBA landscapes. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim have worked to eliminate two massive hurdles to convincing players uninterested in college basketball to pass on the lucrative National Basketball League of Australia by providing a massive salary increase and a structure that doesn't include playing full time in the G League.
Once top 2020 draft prospects LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton chose to play professionally in Australia this year, Silver became more determined in pushing Abdur-Rahim to explore a financial and basketball structure that enticed top American prospects. Green represents a massive breakthrough for the NBA's long-standing goal of gaining access to top prospects who want an alternative to the NCAA.
"That's a real program that the NBL has," Abdur-Rahim told ESPN. "It's appealing. We have kids leaving the United States -- Texas and California and Georgia -- to go around the world to play, and our NBA community has to travel there to scout them. That's counterintuitive. The NBA is the best development system in the world, and those players shouldn't have to go somewhere else to develop for a year. They should be in our development system."
Abdur-Rahim reported back to Silver on the factors that he believed needed altering for the program to become viable. First, the $125,000 salary lagged significantly behind mid-six-figure offers in Australia.
Full story: https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29043828/sources-top-high-school-player-jalen-green-enter-nba-g-league-pathway
This revamped program has secured the signature of projected #1 pick Jalen Green and in my opinion effectively spells the end of the NBL's next stars recruitment of US high school stars.