G-League option -Bazley

I didn’t see it anywhere else in here but with Darius Bazley going directly to the G-League instead of Syracuse this brings in a whole new dynamic to college hoops. If I’m Zion Williamson why am I going to Duke? If he went to the G-League A) he’d get paid-legally. B) he’d have a shoe deal locked up C) he’d have endorsements. D) he wouldn’t have to worry about class or any other NCAA mandate.

Wanted to get the boards thoughts on this. To me it brings a whole new dilemma to college coaches and recruits.

I really don’t think the G League as currently instituted is gonna change much. Only 26k in salary with inferior coaching staffs. Duke is definitely paying Zion way more than that. I’m also skeptical that a shoe company is gonna pay a prospect while they are in the G league and no one is watching them


Understood the initial salary isn’t going to sway people but you don’t think someone like Zion would have a shoe deal locked up in a matter of weeks after entering the G league?

Now I could see some risk to it as well with playing against better/older talent than college and getting exposed. But I still think if it works out for Bazley this could change some things. You can’t tell me that there’s not at least 5-10 guys that are signed to play next year that would rather be playing overseas or in the G league over messing around pleasing the NCAA. I think we don’t see the overseas move more often because it’s such a life change. The G league takes that out of it.

I could see the shoe deal getting signed but I don’t think it translates into an extra year of wages if you get what I mean. Like, if you go one and done and then get a 6 year 42 mil dollar shoe deal, it’s not like you are going to get the same 6 year 42 mil dollar deal when come straight out of high school and you are playing in the G League. Because their exposure is :wastebasket: in the G League. No one’s gonna see Zion wearing Nikes in Oshkosh.

Worse coaches, worse attention and development potential (the team won’t have your draft rights, why would they prioritize you over their actual players), missing a once in a lifetime chance with the college experience, less exposure, worse fallback options if basketball doesn’t work (A college would always take back a one and done guy to finish his degree if basketball doesn’t work out. Where does he go if he skipped college? Community College?)

To be quite honest I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Bazley struggle, badly damage his draft stock, not have the “stay in college another year to develop and improve stock” option, and flame out. Like I said earlier, if he’s not ready then he will have awful opportunities to develop further given that the staff would be dumb to put a lot of effort into improving a guy that likely won’t play for their parent organization. It’s not like he’s a rare talent or anything either, he’s ranked around 10th in what’s considered an extraordinarily weak class for NBA potential.

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Rookies do not get that kinda shoe deal right out the gate usually. From what I could tell the top guys usually get 1-2 mill per year. Here’s one article I found on Andrew Wiggins getting $2.2 and it calls it a rookie record. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some unrevealed bonuses based on performance for some of these guys.

The key negatives of the G-league option is the lack of incentive from the coaching staff to develop the player, and lack of peer support, thus far more chance of flaming out, it is the same for playing overseas.

I dunno, if a guy who is making a pit stop in the G League develops well, I think that coach can take a lot of credit for it. That attracts attention of more guys out of high school who would want to play for him and also would serve notice for GMs looking for a coach looking to develop talent

Life is why. So much more enjoyable to be on a college campus at that age than grinding it out in the G-League. The pay isn’t worth it and the shoe companies want the kid to build a fan base.
If a kid is not the college type, then it’s a fine option, but kids who go to Duke or UM are t going to fall into that category.

I think the G-league could become a realistic option for top 10 level recruits. While the level of endorsements is not going to be the same as if you’re a top 10 draft pick, you have to think that shoe companies and sports agencies will be willing to take a flyer on these kids (even if it’s 100,000 for that year) to lock them up for upcoming years (basically the agencies can front kids cash with the payoff being if the kid develops and is drafted). So hypothetically, a kid who is a top 10 talent could be making 100,000-150,000 (if not more!) for the year they spend in the G-league - and, while I think (most) of our world views are somewhat tempered by affluence, that is a lot of money for some of these kids and families.

Plus these kids are learning in NBA systems and if they perform well, it could be viewed more positively by nba scouts prior to the draft.

Other than a shoe deal, what kind of endorsements are G-league players going to get? Who even knows who Zion Williamson is other than some basketball junkies? Would Marvin Bagley be in as good a place to earn endorsements now if he had spent the season in the G-league?

One other issue is that no one knows how going to the G-league will affect their draft prospects. For someone projected as high as Williamson, he knows that going to Duke works out. Why take a gamble?

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A kid like Williamson would get a pretty penny from endorsers while playing in the G-League. He has more followers on social media than most NBA players. Maybe having a high profile person like him in the league would draw more viewers and draw more fans to games (it definitely would, especially the highlight tape viewers). My guess is Bazley will get some type of endorsement contract that will be very low level but will put some cash in his hands and will be very sneaker company friendly (a lot of European prospects that these types of deals).

Here’s what I like about the G-League. Players learn to be on their own. They learn the NBA lifestyle, they learn how to handle money, they learn who they can actually count on in their “circle,” they learn that not everything is given to them on a daily basis, and they play against actual pros every day in practice or games. Practicing and playing against pros will develop the kids way more than playing in college. There are no time restrictions at all in the pros. Most of their players will get a reality check, which is what most of them (and their inner circle) need.

What I don’t like is what many people have said, how will the coaching staff/organization plan their development? Will strength coaches be working with them throughout the season (I have no idea on this one)? If this becomes a trend, does the G-League/NBA create free agent teams? I have to think this will happen soon because almost every team in the league has their own affiliate.

I think if you’re wondering where the endorsement money is coming from, then you underestimate the capitalistic nature of pro sports. What agency or shoe company/sports company would NOT want to get in for cheap on a potential top 10 guy? There is a reason that these companies and agents have been funneling money while the kid goes to college (sure, for some exposure for the sports-funded college), but also to have the inside track or have these kids routed towards their agency/brand. Now they get to do it legally in the G-league!

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I think the most likely outcome is that Bazley signs with an agent or gets loaned money from agents ahead of next year’s draft.

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Here’s his reasoning. Again, I’m not a proponent for a jump like this, but I’m also not closed minded to the fact that everyone’s situation is different - college is not for all of these athletes.

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As I read the letter from Bazley I couldn’t help think he should reconsider going to the G league. He should instead just go to an Ivy League school for academics and forget basketball altogether. It was like a professional writer wrote that statement.

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Was gonna say something like this; a bright person who has considered the options. . . Some kids are going to thrive on a campus, some are going to be miserable; and some few kids may already be dedicated enough to their craft, talented enough, etc. But I think we’re talking about a really small number of kids.

Thinks about The Players Tribune a bit more… Let’s just say it was definitely professionally edited. Not speaking to this situation, just everything on that site.

I agree it’s a small number to start but what if down the road those contracts jump from $26k to $100k. That number increases and the NCAA is really in trouble. If Bazley is successful I wouldn’t be surprised someone else does it next year and it continuing. College is great but it’s also extremely flawed in a world where everyone wants to make a dime. In my opinion Baseball has it right. Give the kids the option to go pro right away. The G league is there now to help these kids grow now unlike before. If they don’t get drafted where they would like they can go to college but have to be there for a certain number of years.

I thought the usage of the word “dope” felt a bit awkward and forced:)