Abdur-Rahim: G League Gives Options Beyond College

Elite prospects are starting to shun college basketball for the G League

April 30, 2020 - 10:03 am
John Calipari kentucky

USA Today Images


Three five-star prospects – Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix – have opted to skip college basketball and play in the G League.

Why would they do that, you ask? It’s simple. Money.

Green, Todd, and Nix will reportedly make between $250,000 and $500,000 next season, which is a lot more than they would make playing in college.

“Our focus is on the top-echelon high school basketball players,” NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim told JR SportBrief. “They are looking for opportunity beyond college – and they have options beyond college.”

This isn’t the first time elite high school prospects have shunned college basketball. LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton, for example, played in Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

“We’re presenting an option where a young man won’t have to choose to go overseas or to sit out a year, that he has a place to start his professional career,” said Abdur-Rahim, the No. 3 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. “So we think it’s a good opportunity for the players both on and off the court and we’re excited to be able to present it.”

Landing three top recruits like Green, Todd and Nix is great for the G League, not so great for colleges.

“This is really our first group of players that have decided to join us,” Abdur-Rahim said. “We’ve made some changes over the last year-and-a-half. We have launched a G League team that is specifically an option for elite high school players that wanted an alternative to the traditional route. Since then, we’ve continued to look at different ways to present options, and where we are right now, we think we’re in a really good place – that we can offer something that’s compelling to the young men, to their families and to their future.”