g-league developmental program

The G-League is the Best Path to the NBA



As a teenager in school, you’re always told that you should go to college. For athletes in the United States, specifically basketball players, this has always been the case. The “one-and-done” rule forced NBA hopefuls to play at least one year of college basketball before becoming eligible to be drafted. At least, that’s how it was until now. 


G-League development program
Photo Credit: 24/7 Sports

On Thursday, April 16, 2020, ESPN’s No.1 High School basketball prospect Jalen Green announced that he is taking a different route to the NBA by bypassing college to join the NBA’s revamped G-League development program. The updated program will be operated differently than the rest of the league. Instead of creating a new team, or playing regular-season games, prospects will play alongside veterans for exhibition games against G-League teams, foreign national teams, and NBA Academy teams worldwide. 

Top prospects will make $500,000+ along with monetary incentives pending completion of on and off-court tasks.

Green’s choice to bypass college makes him one of the few to do so, and by “committing” to the G-League, he has laid the foundation for the G-League development program. He has opened a pathway for those who are uninterested in college to stay in the United States, play basketball, and get paid for it.


But what does all of this mean? Is this the smart move? Would joining the NBA G-League development program provide prospects with the best and most productive path to the NBA? The answer to that question is, yes. 


NCAA rules and regulations clearly state that athletes are not allowed to accept payment of any kind from the school or third parties because they don’t want schools to gain an unfair advantage over others. Although this keeps the playing field at an “even level,” if you’re a player, why would you go through that hassle? If you’re only playing for one year, why would you play for free when you could get paid? Furthermore, the G-League program also provides players with an additional $125,000 if they want to go to college during the program, so there’s the option to go back to school.

There’s also always the option to go overseas to play professionally and get paid to do it. Top recruits RJ Hampton and the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball, both decided to play professionally in Australia by joining the NBL. But with the NBL having an average salary of only $100,000, would the uncomfortable setting of living in a foreign country be enough monetary incentive?


The G-League is the answer to the money problem, but for some people money isn’t everything. So what else does the new G League bring to the table?


The new G-league
Photo Credit: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Although the G-League development program prospects will participate in life skills programs and community events, prospects will not have to take any classes. Couple that with the 10-12 exhibition games for the year, and the result is an opportunity to work out in front of NBA officials daily. NBA teams will have the ability to see prospects grow throughout the program, witness each prospect’s work ethic, drive, and attention to detail. In college and overseas, all scouts can do is visit or watch the games through video (but aren’t we all in today’s current state of affairs?). They can’t go watch games, go to practices, or converse with the player to get a feeling about who they are as a person unless they travel across the globe. But with the G-League, they’ll be able to do this on a larger scale right in their backyard. 

The NBPA is also working to create a G-League players union to address pending issues for the league, such as salary and housing. With this in mind, prospects may be able to receive even more money for this deal, but the outcome has yet to be announced.

If the G-League development program lives up to expectations, it will become the best, most efficient, and most beneficial route for aspiring NBA prospects. Players can stay in the United States, play ball, get paid, and gain on and off the court experiences they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Neither college or an overseas league can offer this.

G-League development program   G-League development program   G-League development program

G-League development program   G-League development program

-Mike Dancy II

Follow The Franchise on social media