Last Thursday the G-League, which is the NBA’s Developmental League announced that it would offer “Select Contracts” worth $125,000, as an alternative for top high school prospects, who decide not to attend college. This past Saturday, was the first home game for the Dallas Mavericks and Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban was available for the media to ask questions.
In which I asked Cuban to share his thoughts on the announcement:
“If we are going to let players come out of high school, we need to do it in a way that allows us to educate, and support them. So, they can adapt to the life of being a professional athlete. I don’t care if you are going to work for Target, Microsoft, or Google there is an adjustment, and they provide the resources to help you adjust. It is even more difficult in professional sports because you are traveling and you are with a limited group of players. So, with the new program that we are implementing it will also enable life skills and educational training. I think that is a necessity and the difference,” Cuban told me.
Hall of Famer Charles Barkley was also asked about the one and done rule:
“I’ve never liked the one and done rule because I feel like it hurts the NBA. These kids are not ready for the NBA”, said Barkley.
Chuck played three seasons at Auburn before being draft by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1984 NBA Draft.
He would add: “I don’t think it’s fair to our fans in the NBA because if you’ve got a bad team, it used to be that you were going to get a player who was going to make your team better right away. Now you’re getting a kid who might be good in three or four years. If I’m a fan, I don’t want that. I think they should have to stay for two years.”
With the G-League offering top, high school prospects a chance to earn a $125K and educational training like Cuban stated they have the change to develop correctly and come up through the ranks similar to baseball players in the minor leagues.
Earlier this week I had a chance to speak with Dallas Mavericks Director of Basketball Development and former player Rolando Blackman about the G-League announcement:
“I think is fantastic when you have the opportunity to expand. No one wants these young kids coming in without having the option for themselves in school and playing in the league. I think the new rule is fantastic because it gives a kid that is developed and ready to come in and learn the techniques need to play on the NBA level. It also allows them the opportunity to weigh their options accordingly, whether that is going overseas, but the G-league is an option to keep them here. Giving them the understanding of what is happening in this league and develope side of it. Depending on their talent level it will allow them to transition into a system that they are familiar with in the NBA.” Blackman told me.
“I am in love with the process because the critical factor is that we have to find a place for all of these kids, who are talented and think they at the next level. Also, be aware of the rules regarding them being able to go back to school if things do not work out.”
Also, earlier this Rich Paul, who represent players such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, John Wall, Ben Simmons, and J.R. Smith to name a few under his agency Klutch Sports Group, brokered a deal with New Balance. That will have Darius Bazley skip college and accept a 1 million dollar internship with the shoe company.
Paul was on ESPN The Jump earlier this week and said he did not know if this would become a trend, but it would pioneer change from the current system.
“And until that happens, they need options,” Paul said.
Paul said Bazley was part of a system people in authority have “been able to control for a long time.”
“And when you’re a threat to that system, they don’t like that,” Paul said.
Bazley was ranked as the 13th prospect on ESPN’s player board before he de-committed from Syracuse back in March and stated he planned on playing in the G-League, but then changed his mind, and decided to go with the internship with New Balance.