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The one-and-done college route for high-level basketball prospects may soon change - at least for some youngsters. The NBA's G-League will offer contracts worth $125,000 to elite prospects over the age of 18 who don't wish to go the one-and-done path.

James Wiseman

This venture will go into effect in the summer of 2019, so most of next year's 2019 high school grads will be eligible. One of those high school players would be 6'11" James Wiseman from Tennessee, pictured above (per ESPN's Jonathan Givony):

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.

The G League 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 toward facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game," league president Malcolm Turner told ESPN.


Apparently, the G-League will not pursue players who have already committed to a college, but I believe we will see some that have committed will change their minds and go the G-League route (per ESPN's Jonathan Givony);

In April, the Commission on College Basketball, formed by the NCAA after a federal investigation into fraud in the sport, recommended that the NCAA and NBA embrace alternative options for one-and-done-caliber prospects.

"Elite high school players with NBA prospects and no interest in a college degree should not be forced to attend college, often for less than a year," commission chair Condoleezza Rice told The Associated Press. "One-and-done has to go, one way or another."

Turner said the league will not pursue those players who have already committed to colleges, but the professional path would be an alternative to those prospects who make a choice on their own to decommit. Turner also said the G League will be selective with the players they look to bring into the program -- with a strong emphasis on character and readiness to join a pro league.

As Condoleezza Rice stated, "One-and-done has to go, one way or another." This venture by the G-League may be an effective partial answer. There is little doubt in my mind that this is a bit of an experiment. High schoolers who end up committing to a college may still be tempted by the contract and opt out. But it is obvious that the League will actively pursue super-talented youngsters lured by an early entry into the world of the NBA. Expect to see more information and news on this subject as the school year progresses.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC and Facebook

Photo via Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated

Tom Lane 10/18/2018 02:18:00 PM Edit
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