Nation’s Top High School Prospect Jalen Green Will Go Straight to the NBA G League
Some of the best players of all time have since gone straight from High School to the NBA, including Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, but it was still a very rare occurrence.
The route to the NBA was always the same. Get recruited out of High School, go to college and play in the NCAA, and then declare for the NBA draft. There were a few exceptions over the years, including Reggie Harding in 1962, and Moses Malone in 1974. It wasn’t until Kevin Garnett skipped college to go straight to the NBA in 1995 that the straight to the NBA route started being seen as a viable option for some of the top High School prospects.
Some of the best players of all time have since gone straight from High School to the NBA, including Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, but it was still a very rare occurrence. Then, in 2006, the NBA changed the rule to no longer allow players to go straight from High School, requiring a year out of High School before players can be eligible for the draft. For many years, top prospects seemingly only had one choice, to go to college for at least 1 year. But, in recent years, some of the nations top prospects have explored other options, such as playing overseas, or playing in the NBA G League, and it is becoming more and more popular to go one of those routes.
Today, the top High School prospect in the country, Jalen Green, signed to play in the NBA’s developmental G League. Green is an explosive, 6’5” guard with inside-out scoring capabilities who makes highlight plays routinely. In addition to Jalen Green, another highly touted prospect, Isaiah Todd, is following his lead and heading to the G League. There are many ex-players and league executives that believe a year in the G League for top prospects could become the new normal. The average salary in the G League is about $35,000, but Jalen Green will probably make somewhere closer to $500,000. The G League offers an option for kids to make money while further developing their skills. For those who don’t plan to finish their education anyways, it makes sense to get a paycheck while developing skills, as well as learn to handle the business and pressures of the NBA.
In an interview with Yahoo sports, Jalen Green said, “I wanted to get better overall and prepare myself for the NBA because that’s my ultimate goal. Everything was planned out right and set up for me to succeed. I think this was a good decision at the end of the day. I’m still going to be able to go back to college and finish school. So, it’s not really that I’m missing out on college because I can go back and finish whenever I need to. School is a big thing in my family.”
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, the President of the G League, released a statement talking about how excited he is to welcome a player of Jalen Green’s caliber to the league. I think we’re all excited to see how he performs in the G League next season, as well as how his career pans out over the next few years. If Jalen Green realizes his potential and blossoms as an NBA star, I think we can expect to see top prospects follow his path for years to come.