G League to Offer Alternative Route to National Basketball Association for Elite Prospects

Lynette Rowe
October 21, 2018

Turner did tell the network that the G-League won't pursue players who have already committed to play in college, but if players decommit on their own, it would be an option.

According to a new report by ESPN, the G League plans to offer "Select Contracts" worth $125,000 to "elite" basketball prospects required to wait before entering the NBA player pool.

The move comes as the college basketball world is being rocked by a federal trial that includes charges of money laundering and the payment of recruits. 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. ESPN lays those out here, and also provides some answers; among other assets, players who agree to select contracts will be allowed to train in National Basketball Association facilities with training staffs and coaches before the G-League's October training camps kick off.

They'll also benefit from access to National Basketball Association facilities, player development coaches, training staffs and development and educational tools, such as life skills, post-career planning and academic scholarship opportunities.

In addition to higher salaries in general, the G League also recently has increased the number of two-way contracts it can offer, which not only adds money to a player's potential earnings, but also creates a cleaner, easier path to playing time in the National Basketball Association. "However, this change provides another option for those who would prefer not to attend college but want to directly pursue professional basketball".

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"So when all these kids go to the G League and 93 percent, my guess, tea leaves, don't make it, what do we do with them?" The offer for certain players to make a six figure salary (as opposed to the G-League's normal salary of $35,000) while still getting exposure and strong competition for development could prove tempting for numerous nation's top high school athletes.

There is no age limit to being able to take up a "select contract", but a player can not be given one if they have already been through an NBA Draft. It will take some time for a baseline to be established for what prospects can be expected to produce against this level of competition.

In that way, it's likely that a number of the players who might sign such an agreement could be in line to earn far more than the $125,000 salary they sign for.

There is much to prepare for however, especially with this season upon us; the G League draft is 1 p.m. Saturday.

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