G-League has become an option for some high school prospects
There is a significant change coming to the G-League next season. But whether it will be visible in Hoffman Estates remains to be seen.
The NBA's minor league has set out to be a destination for high school graduates who choose not to attend college. The G-League has agreement from four young players, including 6-5 shooting guard Jalen Green, the top-rated player in the class of 2020.
Green and the others will play on a team that will compete against other G-League teams, but the games won't count in the standings. Until the schedule is set, it's not certain if the Windy City Bulls will square off against the team of prospects.
G-League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim talked about the benefits of playing in the G-League rather than attending college for one season.
"I think if you're directing your attention toward preparing for the NBA, I don't think any other system is quite aligned to the NBA the way the G-League is," Abdur-Rahim said in a phone interview.
"We think it will keep growing. The interest we're seeing is high and we're excited about that. It's more that we get the right guys and the right guys in a lot of ways are guys that are tracking toward the NBA."
Abdur-Rahim, an NBA power forward for 12 seasons, said this idea evolved from the Commission on College Basketball chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which released its report in 2018.
Two projected lottery picks in the 2020 NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton, spent the early part of last season playing in the Australian professional league. The G-League now offers a place to bypass college without leaving the country.
According to reports, Green will be paid $150,000 next season. The other players who have agreed to join the G-League are 6-9 Isaiah Todd from Richmond, Virginia, 6-3 Daishen Nix from Las Vegas and 7-2 Kai Sotto from the Philippines.
"We'll have six to seven young guys, then the balance of the team will be veteran players," Abdur Rahim said.
No decision has been made, but there has been talk of the prospects team being based in Southern California. It will not be affiliated with any NBA team.
There will be another new G-League team next season based in Mexico City. That team will also not have an NBA affiliate but will compete like a normal G-League entry.
"I know a lot of focus is on this team an what we're doing with the young guys, but the focus continues to be on growing the league overall," Abdur-Rahim said. "Over the last two seasons, 50% of NBA players had G-League experience."
If all goes according to plan, the Windy City Bulls will be heading into their fifth season at the Sears Centre this fall.