Jalen Green did not kill college basketball. Instead, he compared the disparities in the NCAA and the incentives in the NBA and came to a logical conclusion that could open the door to his death.
Green’s decision to bypass the NCAA and opting for the G League made him a major pioneer test case for the NBA and its minor league in order to provide a salaried alternative to the relative easement of university hoops.
If someone has to make this jump, it is green, widely regarded as the # 1 preparation in the country. NBA agent Aaron Goodwin – who previously led pro prep clients LeBron James and Dwight Howard – also represents Green and, of course, believes in him.
“The way I have been doing business for 29 years shows people that I have a great sense of talent and that I choose children who can become great ball players, great people on and off the field,” said Goodwin told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s in this mold.”
One day after Green accepted his contract on Thursday, he was followed Friday by Isaiah Todd, another top-five preparing the same route. Expect more in the days and weeks to come, several sources told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday and Friday.
This is precisely what the NBA had in mind 18 months ago when it created the G League Select contract as part of a full course for the elite preparations to become professionals. The league has changed its business model closer to that of the MLB and NHL, which allow graduates of graduate school to enter the workforce immediately after high school.
About time? No. Late.
Green, 18, spent his senior season at Napa Prolific Prep basketball academy, with Napa Christian High as an academic partner. The 6 foot 5 inch shooting keeper from Fresno averaged 31.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists for the 31-3 crew.
He was compared to past and present NBA players, including the late Kobe Bryant, and also drew praise from Dwyane Wade. Green worked with, get this, Stephen Curry and Luca Doncic.
With his final year shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Green faced three options.
First, he could go to college – apparently at the University of Memphis – for a season, then declare for the NBA 2021 project.
Second, he could follow the path of LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton, who spent last season playing professionally abroad. Ball would have made less than $ 100,000, while Hampton would have made much more. Both are eligible for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Third, Green could become pro on national soil by signing a one-year contract with the G-League worth more than the $ 500,000 previously reported, according to several sources, and be eligible for the NBA 2021 project.
Option # 3 won and it was not close. It shouldn’t either. The G League program also allows the granting of a scholarship if anyone who follows the program decides to pursue higher education. Green’s parents have left him and they agree with his choice, according to Goodwin.
“They realize that he cannot lose,” he said. “If the NBA really wants to do this program right, and they really want the kids to see how great it is to come to the NBA, how could they let this kid fail?” They must put their whole machine behind not only this child, but this program, so that they can show others who truly believe that they are one-and-done. . . that they can come to the G League and refine your craft with the best we have. “
The move was designed by the NBA and the office of former G League president Malcolm Turner. Former Cal and All-Star NBA star Shareef Abdur-Rahim succeeded Turner and now, with Green’s breakthrough decision, the G League program is at the heart of all future recruits.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Abdur-Rahim noted that Ball and Hampton were leaving high school to play overseas and thought there had to be a better way. Consider this their response.
This puts the NCAA in a position to react or surrender, and this monolithic organization cannot be satisfied with either option.
The right answer is to share a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie currently split between coaches, schools, conferences and the NCAA itself – everyone except skilled workers. They are told that a purse pays, and to be careful, who buys them a sandwich.
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There’s a lot of money to spend in the NCAA sanctuary, where the rules are subjective and the penalties are arbitrary, but there is a declared reluctance to share them.
If the NCAA surrenders, college play will continue. It will not prosper. He will be light on talent, incomes will start to fall and he will have to face another decision.
Meanwhile, let NCAA basketball contemplate its future. And let Jalen Green find a future that’s all he has ever dreamed of.