G League to offer "professional path" starting in the summer of 2019.
The NBA G League is prepared to offer an alternative path for elite prospects who are not draft eligible and star high school basketball players who would likely be "one-and-done" players in the NCAA ranks.
According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, the G League will offer a "professional path" starting in the summer of 2019 which includes "Select Contracts" worth $125,000 to elite prospects who are at least 18 years old but not yet eligible for the NBA draft. Givony reports that the league will "target recent or would-be high school graduates who otherwise would have likely spent just one season playing college basketball."
In addition to the enticing six-figure salary, league president Malcolm Turner tells ESPN the "professional path" will feature plenty of off-court development programs "geared towards facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game."
On top of that, players will also be free to hire agents, profit off their likeness and pursue marketing deals from sneaker companies and other brands, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsement opportunities to top prospects, according to ESPN.
"The broader basketball community has called for the NBA to enhance our G League offerings," Turner told ESPN. "We believe this is an answer to that call. We believe this is a thoughtful and responsive answer."
Of course, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski notes, the G League isn't nearly as "glamorous" as playing for a top college program, where players will easily gain tons of exposure and be treated like kings.
Currently, regular G League players receive $35,000 as a base salary for a five-month season, with bonuses, NBA call-ups, two-way deals and Exhibit 10 contracts providing paths to earning more.