By Joshua Carlson
Paying college athletes to play whatever sport they are recruited for has always been a hot topic when it comes to the National College Athletic Association. The topic was once again brought up when Jalen Green, the No.1 prospect in college basketball for the class of 2020, accepted a deal for the NBA’s Gatorade League pathway program on April 16. This program was initially introduced just a little over a year ago and is now becoming a reality.
The G League is a developmental league, similar to Major League Baseball’s minor league. This league allows players to develop their skill sets that may not be suited yet for the NBA, while still playing in a competitive atmosphere.
This new program allows high-level prospects to take a different route than the traditional college path, while also gaining income, and getting NBA scouts a more accessible way to analyze future players.
The coined “G League Select Team” Green will be playing on will be coached by former NBA coach of the year, Sam Mitchell. The other players include veterans willing to help guide and give knowledge to the new players. The team isn’t playing a full schedule of games similar to the other G League teams.
The location of the team has also not been announced as of yet, but it will not be an affiliate team like the others. The team’s sole purpose will be the development of elite prospects not yet eligible for the NBA draft.
While the contract for Jalen Green has not been publicized as of yet, it is estimated to be worth $500,000-700,000, along with free tuition to be able to complete a degree at any college of the player’s choice, on their own time.
While the impact is unknown at this point, this could possibly hurt the NCAA vastly. It allows the players to take the same risk they would have to take in college- whether that is injuries, or poor performance- and get compensated for it.
Another notable player joining Green is Isaiah Todd, who was formerly committed to the University of Michigan and has stated that he has agreed to a deal to join Green. Other potential players that will join this list are five-star recruit Greg Brown and Makur Maker, a relative of current Detroit Piston Thon Maker.
While the G League experiment is new to everyone, it will be exciting to see how this plays out, and how much it could impact the future of basketball.