All it takes is one to break the dam. Once the dam is broken then the water is free to roam where it wants to go. The top high school basketball recruit in the country, Jalen Green, is the first big time high school player to jump to the NBA G-League. The amount of change this can potentially bring to the college game is immense.
I think the move by Green is long overdue for these top high school recruits. These type of recruits are not there for the college experience. Jalen Green wants to play professional basketball. He knows what he wants to do, so why not let him chase his dream. Green wouldn’t be chasing his dream sitting in English 101.
Jalen Green is going to be drafted into the NBA in 2021 as a lottery pick regardless if he went to college or not. A move such as this allows professional trainers and coaches to develop his skill set and physical body that he’s going to need at the NBA level.
For high school kids that didn’t want the college experience the only choice was to go overseas. For example, LaMelo Ball went to play in Australia. By playing and working out with grown men LaMelo has improved his game. LaMelo’s game has grown and he’s improved his draft status as a result. The stress of moving to a different country is immense on a family regardless of their circumstances.
The G-League jump takes that type of stress out of the equation. Plus, for Jalen Green, he’s from California. Reportedly, the jump to the G-League will be for a team in Los Angeles. The physical move for him and the family will not be a huge stressor. Green is going to be in an area that will be familiar to him. That will help the transition for him.
Besides being able to stay in the United States and develop his game for the NBA, Green will also be able to get paid $500K in salary since he’ll be considered an elite prospect. Jalen will also be able to receive endorsement money as well. According to reports, there are several companies ready to offer Jalen Green a seven figure deal.
We tell young people all the time to find a well paying job in whatever career they choose. Well, Jalen Green is doing exactly that. Most of us would have jumped at the opportunity to make a half million dollars out of high school, I know I would have.
Obviously, there is risk involved here.
Injuries could curtail his career or even end it at a young age. You can also get hit by a car crossing the street walking to the movies. I believe the risk is worth the reward. Green is trying to live his best life right now.
Like I said earlier, it only takes one to start the flood. The college game is going to take a hit with this.
How much of a hit? That’ll be determined at a later point.
Obviously, the allure of college basketball is that you will be seen on television many times during the season. It’s a chance to build up your personal brand as the season progresses.
Zion Williamson was the biggest thing going in his only season at Duke last year. Zion was must see television. His explosive dunks and his overall athleticism caused a massive buzz around a Duke program that was already used to having a buzz associated with it. By the time the NBA Draft happened I am not sure you could find a person who didn’t know who Zion was.
The downside now for college basketball is that the NBA G-League can offer the money that many athletes are looking for at a young age. Plus, the endorsements that can go with being a professional athlete.
The NCAA will certainly be taking a long, hard look at letting these college athletes make money off of their likeness. Even if college athletes can make money off of their likeness it probably won’t be enough to stop the best basketball recruits from not even attending college.
This type of jump may be affecting the University of Michigan basketball program right now.
Isaiah Todd, a 6’9” power forward, has chosen to decommit from the Michigan basketball program. It is believed that he will choose the same path as Jalen Green.
“We’re exploring pro routes.” Todd’s mother said. (espn.com)
At Kentucky, Coach Calipari, may not even to get the services of highly touted recruit Terrence Clarke. Gonzaga could lose signee Jalen Suggs. Suggs did tweet out that “my loyalty never changed. I’m here to stay.” However, Jalen’s father did tell the local paper that “if somebody came up with something, we’d listen.”
There are even more recruits that are not expected to lace up the sneakers as well.
Jalen Green is the first crack in the dam, but he certainly won’t be the last. The NCAA has been put on notice with this move. Let’s see how they react.
In the meantime, players like Jalen Green should be applauded for taking control of their own destiny. This is what works for him and his family. Others will choose the college route, but Green is doing what is best for him.
Like anybody else would.