If you’re paying attention to the DOJ college basketball case, you’ll note that the $125K is in line with the numbers being tossed around as having been paid to players via shoe companies. In some cases more, in some cases less than what players allegedly received but in the ballpark.
I think this won’t be the easy decision some are already claiming it is, though. Yes, you get paid without any hassle and you get access to “NBA infrastructure, as well as a bevy of off-court development programsgeared towards facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game.” However, there are some questions…
1. Brand. The reality is that no serious number ofpeople are going to watch the GLeague, with or without elite HS players coming straight into it. That’s just reality. Might it shift over time? Sure, but that will take a LONNNNNNGGGG time. The calculation for manywill be that the year of playing at a high profile school for a year will more than offset $125K. For everybody? Nope, but I believe absolutely so for some. So if you want name recognition, I’m not sure the GLeague is the best way to go about it.
2. More importantly, there’s the issue of the draft. Keep in mind, when someone takes this offer, they’re notsigning a two way or playing in the NBA at all that year. The entry rule for the Draft remains unchanged. So they’re going to be earning their draft position by playing against men 5-6 years older than they are (in most instances) who are desperately trying to earn a look from the NBA, same as they are…except they’ll be more physically and mentally mature in most cases. Again, in the long run, are you better off going this route and possibly being exposed or just simply shown to be not ready for grown man levels of play, or are you helped more by playing in college for a year? I think that’s going to be a calculation with multiple answers, depending upon the situation.
For MSU fans, this isn’t great news, admittedly. Guys like Carey and Stewart would for sure be targeted by the GLeague and would be eligible to sign this contract for next season. No idea how receptive or interested they are in the idea…I’m sure we’ll begin to find out answers to that question soon enough. Not sure anyone else MSU is recruiting would be on that list…keep in mind that this is supposedly going to be offered only to “elite” players, so even someone like Brooks might not qualify for the $125K.
To me, it boils down to this…does the $125K “move the needle,” given the downsides (worse conditions for training/playing in most instances compared to elite college programs, risk of exposure against older,stronger competition which negatively impacts draftstatus, etc.)? I’m not sure it does but we’ll begin to find out soon enough.