G League to offer $125K contracts to elite National Basketball Association prospects

2015 NBA Draft class

The NBA G League today announced a Select Contract as part of a comprehensive professional path that will be available, beginning with the 2019-20 season, to elite prospects who are eligible to play in the NBA G League but not yet eligible for the NBA.

Why is the G League offering Select Contracts?

Free of the restrictions of the NCAA's amateurism rules, players will be able to hire agents, show off their likeness and pursue marketing deals from sneaker companies, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsement opportunities to some of these top prospects.

The offering will essentially take the place of the one-and-done system many take issue with, including those on the Commission on College Basketball.

"Select contracts are an answer to the basketball community's call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA", Turner said.

While changes to the NBA's age limit likely won't be implemented until the 2022 draft, the league considers this a response to such criticism.

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The NBA G-League is attempting to change the game with their new rule to recruit young superstars to the league, however they seem to have overlooked a few things.

Of course, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski notes, the G League isn't almost as "glamorous" as playing for a top college program, where players will easily gain tons of exposure and be treated like kings.

Elite high school prospects for years have elected to sign with college programs, fulfilling their NBA Draft requirements by being one season removed from high school in order to become draft eligible.

The move will allow for the highest level of high school basketball players to make money and train within an NBA infrastructure in the year before they're eligible to be drafted.

Turner said the league will be selective with its players, seeking a "strong emphasis on character and readiness to join a pro league".

It is unclear how the players would be selected, but the league said Thursday it's establishing a working group to identify players who could be offered the contract. Article X of the National Basketball Association collective bargaining agreement already covers this for all draft-eligible American prospects: If a player renders services under contract for any non-NBA professional team prior to January 1, he is automatically placed in the next draft. The contracts will be an alternative for one-and-done players looking to skip the one-and-done route of college.

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