In the world of elite preps basketball, Jalen Green pulled off what could be a paradigm-shifting coup on Thursday. According to ESPN, the Fresno high schooler reportedly committed to joining the NBA’s development circuit, the G League, for next season on a $500,000 salary plus bonuses and a college scholarship, as he will forego NCAA basketball entirely.
That’s not all, as he’s also reportedly set to be part of/help launch/be nurtured by a new G-League team, set in Los Angeles or thereabouts.
Sources: Jalen Green will headline a new G League team in Los Angeles and focus on development and preparation for NBA. https://t.co/BMnWfceUUH— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 16, 2020
This new G League team would be the third in the area, with the Clippers’ affiliate located in Ontario, and the Lakers’ in El Segundo. While none of these teams have the draw of the NBA big boys, this G League shakeup and the expected run of other top prospects to skip NCAA basketball for a contract right out of high school to develop their games could be a game-changer.
Put simply, it’s intriguing on a number of levels. Green could be well served by this move, and be ready for the NBA when he’s drafted down the line, and it could add an element of excitement to the G League, too. In sports like baseball and soccer, watching the minor league affiliates is an exercise for the locals and diehards, but that could follow a similar path for basketball now. At the same time, it could all go wrong, too, as the idea of “forming a team for one player to go pro a year early” sounds pretty crazy out of context.
We’ll see what happens. But this news does look like something that will be monumental down the line for the NBA, as this SB Nation story argues in a good summary of the situation.
More news for this Friday:
- Board of Governors meeting today: Team leaders are set to (virtually) meet on Friday to discuss options, per The Athletic, with some optimism the season could be played to completion this year. It sounds as though NBA players could be more amenable to a biodome scenario, but time will tell.
- Ballmer talks coronavirus response: Clippers owner Steve Ballmer participated in an in-depth chat on periscope with the Washington Post over the financial response to the coronavirus. If you want to get into some cold, hard facts, this is a pretty fascinating watch.
- NBA HORSE Challenge champion is crowned: Mike Conley, Jr. was the winner, as he beat former Clipper Chauncey Billups in the semifinals, with losing finalist Zach LaVine beating Allie Quigley in the final four. This really seemed like a good idea, but the radically different setups, internet issues and video production seemed to hold back the “Wow” factor a bit. But hey, gotta try some things in this time.
- Fan survey at The Athletic: The site has been doing fan surveys on various teams and sports the past couple weeks, and now it’s time to complete the Clippers’ version.
- 2020 draft board: The Ringer has a handy rundown of the top 30 prospects for the next NBA draft. American-French guard Killian Hayes is listed No. 1 for now.