"Select Contracts are an answer to the basketball community's call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA", said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner in a news release. It's a clear challenge to college basketball's monopoly on straight-out-of-high school talent and gives an alternative option to the so-called "one-and-done" players - those who play one season of college basketball before going into the NBA draft.
Players will also be able to hire an agent, have sponsorships and make money off their name and likeness, which they can not under NCAA rules.
In an effort to strengthen their own league and prepare some of the most talented prospects for the rigors of the National Basketball Association, the G League is taking initiative.
Others, however, believe the G League option will be attractive to those players who don't want to go to college in the first place. The G League's alternative path could provide what those prospects may choose to pass on in the NCAA, and offer a salary more commensurate with their value.
The NBA and its minor league affiliate, the NBA G League, is now prepared to offer a $125,000 annual salary to elite-level high school prospects who decide to skip college ball.
Per the report, seven of the ten top 2019 college basketball prospects have yet to commit to a school.
While changes to the NBA's age limit likely won't be implemented until the 2022 draft, the league considers this a response to such criticism. "We believe this is a thoughtful and responsive answer". A college program at least benefits from the exposure of an NCAA run or at a minimum the news a top prospect garners on ESPN and the like so even in a one and done status, they have a vested interest in improving the player.
"More broadly, this working group will also oversee the implementation of the professional path initiative", the league announced. Players who have already gone through the National Basketball Association draft process are ineligible for the select contract. With the G League's "Select Contracts", they are able to have an agent and dive into the advertising game without being penalized.
There are still details being worked out for this "professional path" as Givony outlines in the piece, but one thing that is certain is that players will only be allowed to play one season on the Select Contract before they become draft eligible.