The #1 prospect, according to the 2020 ESPN 100, put the NBA G League on center stage on Thursday afternoon. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Jalen Green will be the first elite player to join the NBA pathway program. It is reported that Southern California will be launching a G League team headlined by Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd.
Jonathan Givony reports that the G League will pay Jalen Green, along with other elite prospects, $500,000 to participate in a one-year development program. The one-year program includes professional coaching, veteran players and training against G League and international teams. While it may be just one year, Adam Silver’s commitment to the pathway program will surely coincide with significant long term benefits for the G League.
The G League will feature elite talent that will certainly lead a major increase in audience and viewership across the scope of basketball in the US. Adrian Wojnarowski reported that talks have stalled between the NBA and NBPA in regards to the one-and-done rule. What this means for the NCAA is yet to be seen. NBA fans want to watch elite college prospects play on the biggest stage. This news will surely have huge ripple effects between the G League and the NCAA moving forward.
The beginning of a new era in G League basketball…
Shortly after Jalen Green made his announcement, Shams Charania reported that Isaiah Todd, an original commit for Michigan, decided to join the pathway program in Southern California. It is apparent that G League is tailoring its program towards these elite prospects in order to ensure its success. This has to be exactly what the G League was hoping for and should grease the wheel for other elite prospects to take a chance with the pathway program.
This is certainly the start of a new era of G League basketball and the NBA pathway program. With the first two elite prospects making their decision to join the pathway program, this is certainly the first of many dominos to fall moving forward. Significant amounts of attention will be given to the success of Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd. If their transition to the NBA is smooth and effective, this could lead to a meteoric rise for the G League and it’s development of young prospects.