The old “one and done” rule when it comes to playing a year of basketball in college is being shattered.
Recently, the NBA implemented the professional pathway program, which is a G League initiative that sources say will pay elite prospects $500,000-plus and provide a one-year development program outside of the G league’s traditional team structure.
Green, a 6-5, 170-pound shooting guard from Fresno, CA, is the first player to go this route, which has everyone excited because if everything goes as planned, he was scheduled to be the first pick in the 2021 NBA draft. The 18-year-old Cali kid is a 5-star recruit who’s got a very high ceiling when it comes to all-around talent. He showed up with high praise in High School and improved immensely each and every year. As a freshman at Cali’s San Joaquin Memorial High School, he was a full-time starter who averaged 18 points a game. The following year he averaged 27.9 points, and by his junior season, Green averaged 33 points per contest. Green is a walking bucket who doesn’t hesitate to do a between the legs dunk when he catches a fastbreak mid-game or slams it down even after a lot of contact.
The nation began to rally around him, and he even nabbed Sports Illustrated’s coveted All-American player of the year. After transferring to Prolific Prep for his senior year, he was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit. Still, we never got to see him put in any of that work because all of those games were eventually cancelled because of the coronavirus.
But now that one of the most touted high school prospects is heading straight to the league, it poses a considerable marketability problem to the NCAA who will begin to lose more talent as players would rather chase the check.
In fact, another player may be joining him very soon as he starts a new team for the G League in Los Angeles. Five-star prospect and Michigan de-commit Isaiah Todd, Makur Maker, and Kai Sotto could also opt to pick up the major bag on the west coast.
The push for Commissioner Adam Silver and G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim to foster growth under the NBA’s umbrella was made apparent once soon-to-be stars (and 2020 draft prospects) LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton chose to play professionally in Australia.
Now, we just wait to see how Green shakes things up.