Quarantine Mailbag Podcast: G League, transfers, 5-stars, Karim Mane, Big Ten & more

Question regarding Juwan Howard going to NBA. You answered in Pod but did not factor in coaching his sons. Do you think it’s likely he’d want to coach his kids the next 4-6 years?

Excellent pod btw. I’ll give ya a 5* review


Definitely could be a factor. Probably should have mentioned that.


I haven’t listened to Pod, but do you discuss WHY G League is investing in these guys? It makes sense for individual teams to invest in players they have under contract, but the incentive to spend real money on undrafted, not-under-contract player is less clear to me (I’m sure this is heavily subsidized by shoe interests, but for sake of the discussion, I assume this is some significant money from G league and NBA ( eg, I assume NBA will provide coach as well as some portion of salaries and other team expenses). Why do they want to do do this? How is this better for NBA than just letting UK Duke and LSU handle things. Would appreciate your thoughts.

We touched on it a bit but I think there are a few items at play: 1) They don’t want them going to Australia where they have no control, have to spend resources to scout internationally, etc. 2) This could allow them to avoid getting rid of one-and-done 3) There could be some marketing benefit, etc. down the road. 4) If these players are getting a half mil to play in college, they run the risk of not even playing for a year (Wiseman, for example) and that doesn’t really help in evaluation either.

Big picture, if the NBA doesn’t provide a sustainable pro option… someone else will. From a biz POV, I think it is always better to have that control


FWIW Landers Nolley did transfer/commit to Memphis today. 2021 Pierre Brooks announcing commitment on Wed between UofM,Sparty and Xavier.

I agree w you on 1. I think that’s maybe a big factor.

Also agree on the 2nd idea, but I think it might end up a misjudgment. I think next year 25 kids will want this deal. Who wouldn’t? And I’m not sure NBA is capable of or wants to figure out who it wants to invest in and who it doesn’t.

I don’t totally understand your 4th point. The wiseman scenario seems kind of weird.

This will actually be really interesting to watch. Very interesting to contrast w USA soccer, which closed down its national development academy for high level youth players this week.

I think the Wiseman scenario is an extreme version of a very common one though - a kid who may not have any interest in going to college who is enticed with some some money to choose the best of bad options, and then get tarred in the media because its the only rational course he had. Now he gets paid, its legit, he doesn’t need to fake going to college, and he gets to devote all his time to basketball.

Broadly speaking - I think providing an option for high-level basketball players who don’t want to go to college but do want top-level training is an absolute no-brainer.

Also, I think it’s clear that the NBA is absolutely evaluating who they are offering these deals to, and the demand won’t ever be the issue - they only want 5/6 kids.

One other point I heard raised on an NBA pod which I thought was interesting was this setup’s possibility of enticing kids from abroad to play here for a year, and how doing that would immediately absolve the NBA from any buy-out terms.


Didn’t get it in the pod but figured I’d still ask it here…

who does everyone think has the best chance of being the storyline player-on-player matchup going into this year’s Michigan-Michigan State games? Been Zavier v. Cassius for a while now.

Wagner v. Gabe Brown?

1 Like

Wagner v Aaron Henry
Livers :crossed_fingers:t3: v Hauser


Forgot about Henry. Those are actually pretty good

Foster Loyer v Brandon Wade.


I’m honestly pretty down on the idea of Henry figuring it out at MSU. The kid is clearly talented but it really seems like he’s not a wonderful temperamental fit with a shrieking coach more than willing to air him out in the press.

That’s an interesting idea - to get out of overseas buyouts and get some better scouting of overseas players. That makes a lot of sense.

My point on Wiseman is not that his desires are strange, in fact I think most potential OAD have the same basic plan and values (which I’m not throwing shade on!). Only thing that was weird about that situation was the Penny relationship and the booster status. Wiseman’s situation was completely kosher (by today’s ludicrous standards) at any other school.

I don’t think a one and done guy running into some sort of eligibility issue is that unique. Same sort of thing could have happened with Deandre Ayton if things fell differently, for example, and other guys who were tied to the FBI investigation.

I assume you can ask the questions about most of the top recruits, but Penny @ Memphis after coaching W in HS gave them a smoking gun that I don’t remember before.

You could say the same situation arises when a team hires an AAU coach and then recruits his old team (or Jim Harbaugh hires a former HS coach …), but how often is that AAU coach the head coach of the college team that is all of a sudden recruiting like gangbusters?

I hope NBA richly funds its G Squad and takes 20 guys a year (basically all legit OAD candidates) … that would be great for college basketball. Best thing about college hoops is to watch a guy improve over 3 - 4 years and watch his role improve.

I don’t see them forming more than 1 roster with these kids, and part of the selling point is to fill out the roster with twilighting NBA vets to serve as mentors

I think the cap for this as of now (obviously they could restructure) is 7-8 kids.

Really giggling that the name floated as coach to teach these prime prospects is the universally mocked Sam Mitchell - obviously lots to say about being a pro, but a certified failure as a coach.

I don’t see twenty guys going per year. Maybe 10 to 15 but that also depends on what type of compensation the NBA is willing to fork out.

Yeah, I don’t think 20 guys per year is realistic. That would mean some kids who participate are basically guaranteed to not be first round picks.

Plan will be to keep it “elite” and take McD AA caliber players, knowing that some will still choose college.

I agree w/ all, I doubt they will take 20. Just saying from my perspective, that would be ideal number, so that we see most NCAA athletes for at least 2 years.

The OAD era at Duke and UK has been some of the least memorable college hoops in my memory. Zion rose above it, AD was a phenom at UK, and John Wall (?) & Derrick Rose too, and for players like these guys who are truly transcendent it may still make sense to go to Duke (bigger platform) … but the vast majority of true potential one and done’s (the top 6-8 recruits each year) – the vast majority of whom were lottery picks and are now good pros – just ran through NCAA like water down the sink drain. Would be very happy to see them never enter the NCAA system. I know Livers would have loved to have been a pro right away, but his career arc - even if it ends this summer - is satisfying to me as a consumer (and will be even better if he is 1st team all big ten his senior year!).