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G League to offer $125K contracts to elite prospects as NCAA alternative

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The G League will offer a paid alternative to college basketball for those seeking NBA

The NBA G League is prepared to offer an alternative path for elite prospects who are not draft eligible and star high school basketball players who would likely be "one-and-done" players in the NCAA ranks.

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.

The G-League has created a new "professional path" for players who aim to play in the National Basketball Association and skip the "one-and-done" process of playing in college.

There is no determination yet on how players will be identified as potential targets for such a contract. That FBI investigation and ongoing trial got the attention of National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver, who said earlier this year that the league was considering its options in altering the rule. Even if you took every top player from college each season and filled the G-League rosters that still leaves a giant number of players of that same level of quality that will be left over to go to college. Edmond Sumner, the second-year player who impressed during preseason with the parent Indiana Pacers, will also be back with the Mad Ants because he's on a two-way contract. "It's not as if any player can unilaterally raise their hand and dictate that they will join the league playing under a select contract". The contracts, which will include robust programmatic opportunities for development, are for elite players who are at least 18 years old and will pay $125,000 for the five-month season.

G League officials are still considering how to address these concerns, with room for flexibility both before the program officially launches and once it is running.

"We believe this is an answer to that call", Turner told ESPN.

The Select Contracts also unshackle young players from the restrictions imposed by USA college amateur rules. Heck, just this year, Darius Bazley, a five-star recruit ranked No. 18 in the 2018 class by Rivals.com, opted out of his commitment to Syracuse to jump straight to the G League.

"Obtaining a college education continues to provide unmatched preparation for success in life for the majority of student-athletes and remains an excellent path to professional sports for many", Emmert said. It also means a lot of players that may not have gotten a chance to play college basketball will now have that opportunity.

Given the significant difference in physical maturity and experience, G League Select prospects could be risking their draft stock while their peers face NCAA competition.

The NBA plans to begin its dissemination of these "select contracts" come summer of 2019. "We're also not going to be targeting those who have already made their decisions".

This could very well create a divide between the NCAA and the National Basketball Association moving forward.

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