It seems like the NBA isn’t ready to completely eradicate its “one-and-done” rule that prevents players from entering the NBA. Instead the NBA is increasing its salary for select high profile high school recruits to $125k who want to join the G-League as an alternative to going to college.
As part of a newly formed “professional path” starting in the summer of 2019, the G League will offer “Select Contracts” worth $125,000 to elite prospects who are at least 18 years old but not yet eligible for the NBA draft. It will target recent or would-be high school graduates who otherwise would have likely spent just one season playing college basketball, enticing them not only with a six-figure salary but also the opportunity to benefit from NBA infrastructure, as well as a bevy of off-court development programs “geared towards facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game,” Turner said.
Without the restrictions of the NCAA’s amateurism rules, players will also be free to hire agents, profit off their likeness and pursue marketing deals from sneaker companies and the like, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsement opportunities to top prospects.
This news is unfortunate for LaVar Ball’s JBA league which attempted to use the same model to attract high school graduates to their league.
While the increased salary for select recruits is nice it would have been better if they just allowed 18 year old player to join the NBA.