/Jalen Green – The New Route to the NBA

Jalen Green – The New Route to the NBA

Regarded as the No. 1 basketball recruit in the nation, Jalen Green will not take the traditional one-and-done route to the NBA. Instead, Green will opt for the NBA’s G League…and current NBA players are loving it.

Memphis rookie point guard Ja Morant tweeted “so proud of you lil brudda…keep going up…you know 12 wit ya.”

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell also loved the idea of Green to the G League. Mitchell tweeted “Bro just changed the game! Salute and congrats youngin.”

Green, a 6-foot-5-inch guard, was the No. 1 college basketball prospect in the country according to most experts. He had received offers from many of the top college programs in the country, but decided against playing collegiately.

Green’s ultimate goal, of course, is to get to the NBA. With that mindset, he decided to take advantage of the NBA’s G League program for elite players. Players like Green will play on a team under the G League umbrella but not associated with any NBA franchise.

The new program, which is still being developed, offers elite players like Green the opportunity to get paid while focusing on basketball readiness, draft preparation, and life skills. Elite prospects will earn $500,000 for one season, which is much more than the original $125,000 that was planned. 

The G League originally launched a plan for players that didn’t want to play college basketball but were not yet eligible for the draft. The original salary was $125,000 and players would be placed on existing G League teams that are associated with NBA teams. 

Darius Bazley, now of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was set to skip college and enter the G League’s program in 2018. Instead, he opted for a three-month internship with New Balance where he was paid $1 million. Bazley was eventually selected in the first round of the 2019 draft.

Rick Bouch