It’s a seemingly never-ending question: How should the NBA handle top High School prospects who would like to test the professional waters immediately, rather than spending a year at college?
The league currently has a one-year minimum rule, meaning that players are not allowed to join the NBA until they’ve been out of High School for at least one year. But they’re working to give young prospects a better option. The league is planning to allowed select players a “professional path”, by giving them $125,000 salaries in the G-League.
The NBA plans to offer a "professional path" to the G-League with select $125K salaries to players as an alternative to the one-and-done college route, ESPN's @DraftExpress reports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 18, 2018
After one year in the G-League, those players would be eligible to enter the NBA Draft.
It’s worth noting that playing in the G-League is nothing new. Under the current system, players are allowed to join the G-League straight out of High School, they’re just limited to the base salary of $35,000. And, unfortunately, this isn’t indicative of the league reconsidering the one-and-done rule.
The NBA informed teams no changes to allow HS players into Draft will happen prior to 2022, sources tell ESPN. NBA/NBPA have been negotiating to change age eligibility to 18. HS players could already go directly into G-League -- it’s just now elite can make $125K instead of $35K.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 18, 2018
The question for the league is this: Will top players actually follow this path? Many are skeptical.
I have doubts about how many top players will go this route. Some, yes. But G-League is full of early connecting flights, long bus rides, small gyms. It isn't glamorous. Big-time NCAA ball still has the trappings of exposure, packed houses, private jets. You'll get paid there too— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 18, 2018
If a few elite prospects do start heading to the G-League, things could get interesting. Organizations can scout players a little bit better if they’re in the G-League, and get a feel for how they handle the size and physicality of professional basketball.
Of course, the easier solution would be to just eliminate one-and-done, which Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr seems on board with.