To hear John Calipari tell it, the G League’s move to offer prospective one-and-done players $125,000 one-year contracts will be good for Kentucky. “If it’s what they say, three or five guys and that’s it, I don’t think it affects us,” Calipari said after Kentucky’s Blue-White scrimmage Sunday. “As a matter of fact, probably makes us better. The kids that come here are kids that want the competition and want to get better. They’re not going somewhere so that they only gotta shoot all the balls. (Those players) don’t come here. I think this may even separate us some, so I’m not worried about it.”
Calipari's argument is that players who don't pan out will be left as "roadkill" in the G League as opposed to enjoying the other benefits going to college can bring. "My concern comes back to I want to know what happens to the kids that you've encouraged not to go to college if they fail," he said Sunday. "What are you going to do for them? That's my whole thing. What is it going to do to 8th and 9th and 10th graders? Are you going to have a whole wave of those kids that think, 'I don't need school I'm going to go to the G league.'"
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are struggling to reach an agreement on lowering the league's minimum age to 18, differing on the league's desire to attach two conditions to ending the one-and-done NBA draft era, league sources told ESPN. Commissioner Adam Silver is pressing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to require that player-agents furnish all teams with medical information on draft prospects, league sources said. The league also wants to mandate players' attendance and some level of participation in the pre-draft combine, sources said.
Privately, the NBA and NBPA say there is far more room to negotiate on attendance and participation at the draft combine. For example, the league isn't seeking a hardline where potential lottery picks must participate in 5-on-5 games, but it would like to find ways for everyone to take part in interview sessions with front offices, measurements, athletic testing and media availabilities, sources said.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are struggling to reach an agreement on lowering the age limit to 18, differing on the league's desire to attach two conditions to ending the one-and-done NBA draft era, league sources told ESPN. Commissioner Adam Silver is pressing NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to require that player-agents furnish all teams with medical information on prospective draft prospects, league sources said. The league also wants to mandate players' attendance and some level of participation in the pre-draft combine, sources said.
"We're investing millions of dollars into players who we'll now have even less information about coming out of high school, and we should have the right to have all the information available on who we are selecting," one general manager told ESPN. The union has felt significant pressure from the agent community to resist the NBA's push on ceding control of medical information, sources said. While the NBPA has long advocated the lowering of the age limit to 18, so far the union has shown no inclination to surrender on these issues without minimally a give-back elsewhere from the NBA.
Starting in 2019, the G-League will offer “select contracts," worth $125,000 to elite prospects who are at least 18 years old, but not yet eligible for the NBA draft. At a media availability on Thursday, Penny said he believes most one-and-done players will take the money and run.
“It will affect college basketball for sure, because the one-and-dones that don’t go to the NBA will go there for the $125,000,” Hardaway said. “Most kids don’t want to be in a school for four years, especially the kids that have the ability to go the next level. I don’t know if it will affect my recruiting, because you’re going to get them into school. It’s just the one and done kids. It’s definitely going to affect college basketball.”
“I think most of the parents want to go,” Hardaway said. “They’re pushing their kids to go. The kids may want to stay, but the parents are pretty much pushing the kids to go.” “The thing that I hear nowadays with kids and their parents around the country is image and building the name, and I think they’re going to use that to springboard their kids to the NBA.”
Monte Poole: 'I'd like to see the one-and-done . . . done.' -@Warriors coach Steve Kerr on new rule opening door to better G-League pay for select prep prospects.
Adam Johnson: Asked for comment from G League President Malcolm Turner on the future wage gap caused by the new contracts announced today and if they plan to address that issue: “This isn’t a new development - NBA G League rosters have always been made up of a diverse group of players at different stages of their careers who are earning different salaries. The small pool of elite athletes signed to Select Contracts will be yet another group in locker rooms that already include this diversity.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA informed teams no changes to allow HS players into Draft will happen prior to 2022, sources tell ESPN. NBA/NBPA have been negotiating to change age eligibility to 18. HS players could already go directly into G-League -- it’s just now elite can make $125K instead of $35K.
Jared Zwerling: The G League today announced a Select Contract, starting with the 2019-20 season, to elite prospects who are eligible to play in the G League, but not yet eligible for the NBA. For elite players who are at least 18 years old; will pay $125,000 for the 5-month season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: I have doubts about how many top players will go this route. Some, yes. But G-League is full of early connecting flights, long bus rides, small gyms. It isn't glamorous. Big-time NCAA ball still has the trappings of exposure, packed houses, private jets. You'll get paid there too
Adam Zagoria: "None of this goes into effect until the NBA and the Players' Association agree on something...And I'm hearing it won't be until 2022." @John Calipari on ESPN on the one-and-done/agent stuff
Tom Westerholm: Jaylen Brown on the one-and-done rule: "I think if you can serve in the military at 18, you should be able to play in the NBA. That would be my argument."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is uniquely qualified to be the chairman of the league's labor relations committee. That's because Jordan has the gravitas to credibly translate the owners' viewpoint to the players and the players' viewpoint to the owners. Silver specifically mentioned Jordan Tuesday when talking about the issues facing the league that would require compromise with the players association. Among those: competitive balance, as it relates to free agency and the salary cap, and the possibility of changing the draft-entry age for U.S. players from 19 to 18.
Jordan, a hall-of-famer, was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. "There's no doubt that so many players look up to him. Many in our current class of superstars look across the table and think, 'That's where I want to be one day,'" Silver said in response to an Observer question. "He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions (with the players) and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view. When owners are going into discussions with players, Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.''
Commissioner Adam Silver made it clear on Tuesday that there is growing support for a change that would allow players to enter the league at the age of 18 rather than require them to play one year of college basketball – or internationally. Such a move would have to be collectively bargained with the National Basketball Players Association, but Silver’s tone on this topic was the strongest sign yet that it’s only a matter of time.
“My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change,” Silver said after the conclusion of the latest round of owners' meetings. “It won’t come immediately, but…when I weighed the pros and cons – (and) given that (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice and her (NCAA) commission has recommended to the NBA that those one-and-done players now come directly into the league and, in essence, the college community is saying ‘We do not want those players anymore,’ I mean that sort of tips the scale in my mind that we should be taking a serious look at lowering our age to 18.”
Jon Krawczynski: Silver on 18 year olds being draft eligible: “We’re ready to make that change. It may take some time.”
Tim Bontemps: On the subject of the age limit, Michele Roberts says, “Stay tuned.” Adds that she expects there to be some news in “the next few months” on the subject of it going away. That would seem to indicate things remain on schedule for the age limit to go away for the 2021 NBA Draft.
The NBA on Friday sent teams a memo indicating that "eligibility rules" for the draft may shift as early as 2021 (but no earlier) as the league reviews issues "related to player development and the corruption investigation in college basketball," according to a copy of the memo obtained by ESPN.
The memo does not mention the one-and-done rule by name, but it is meant to remind teams the league and the players union could agree to scrap one-and-one before the expiration of the current collective bargaining deal in 2024 -- and perhaps well before then, sources say. The memo says that as of now, the league does not expect changes in draft eligibility rules would take place at any time "prior to the 2021 or 2022 draft" -- for example in 2019 or 2020.
The 2020 NBA draft is the earliest the NBA would change its draft eligibility rule and return to the high school-to-NBA rule the league used from 1995-2005, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. There is no guarantee a new rule goes into effect in 2020, only that it won’t happen in 2019, the person said, adding further discussion needs to take place.
The NBA allows high school players to enter the G League without the wait. The Commission on College Basketball recommended Wednesday that the NBA and NBPA allow high school players to enter the draft, but college basketball has no ability to effect change on the issue. The NBA and NBPA must collectively bargain a change of the early entry rule. The Commission on College Basketball made a recommendation to allow college players who declare for the NBA draft to retain their eligibility should they go unselected in the draft.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association's conversations on eliminating the one-and-done entry rule have centered on lowering the minimum age requirement no sooner than the 2020 draft, league sources told ESPN. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts have discussed scenarios to end the requirement for American players to wait one year after high school graduation to enter the NBA draft, but no formal agreement could be reached before the NBPA's executive committee, including president Chris Paul, gather for a meeting at the end of the NBA playoffs in June.
Chris Mannix: NBA puts out a statement on its Commission on College Basketball report, that includes this: "Regarding the NBA’s draft eligibility rules, the NBA and NBPA will continue to assess them in order to promote the best interests of players and the game."
Adrian Wojnarowski: In the eyes of NBA executives, the only thing of value to come out of College Basketball Commission report today: The opportunity for undrafted players to return to college basketball. Even the G League can't absorb so many of these non-prospects.
Steve Kyler: It seems we are heading towards dropping one and done, most of the execs I have spoken with think it happens for 2020... we'll see if it does. It's not an NBA rule exclusively, Players Association has to approve it and that's always complicated. twitter.com/LaVarHenry/sta…
Recently, there's been a lot of talk about finding alternatives to the NCAA -- even LaVar Ball's trying to get in on the action -- but 'Reef argues that 1 year of college education is better than none. "I think they should just leave it how it is ... college gets kids ready for the NBA," O'Neal said.
Some of the big headlines in sports today press on ongoing scandals plaguing the NCAA. When asked if he thought the NBA G-League could become an alternative for young athletes not looking to play in college, Commissioner Stern was clear. “I would hope so. It’s a complete fraud the whole thing.” He continued, “I’m a harsh critic of the NCAA for taking players that they know aren’t there to learn and in many cases, don’t go to classes in their second semester. Instead they put them in online classes just to finish the year so they don’t lose their scholarships.” “So there is something very bad going on and everyone blames the NBA’s ‘one and done’ rule.” He adds, “Well the NBA doesn’t have a one and done rule; the NBA’s rules says players have to be 19; it doesn’t matter if they go to college.”
Now, though, there is turbulence, as the underbelly in the youth and college basketball systems is being exposed. The NBA has watched it unfold. Seeing both a responsibility as the world's leading basketball league and an opportunity to move in on valuable territory, the league is preparing to get involved again with elite high school basketball players, multiple sources told ESPN. Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver and several of his top advisers have been engaged in listening tours and information-gathering missions with an array of stakeholders for months. That has included formal meetings with the National Basketball Players Association about adjusting the so-called "one-and-done" age-limit rule. But Silver's aim is much more comprehensive than simply re-opening the door for 18-year-olds to play in the NBA, sources said.
A plan is expected to include the NBA starting relationships with elite teenagers while they are in high school, providing skills to help them develop both on and off the court. It would ultimately open an alternate path to the NBA besides playing in college and a way 18-year-olds could earn a meaningful salary either from NBA teams or as part of an enhanced option in the developmental G League, sources said.
"We're spending a lot of time on [youth basketball]. I think there is a big opportunity, on a global basis, focus on elite players in terms of better training, better fitness, so that they ultimately can be successful at the highest level," Silver said during All-Star Weekend. "That is something from a league standpoint, together with our teams, we're putting an enormous amount of energy and resources into." Within the past year, league officials began canvassing teams on their ideas and interest in the NBA creating academies that would house and train dozens of the country's elite high school basketball players, sources said. This academy concept has been floated for years, notably by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
"We realize that the whole issue of the one-and-done is that we don't operate in isolation, and where we choose to set with our players' association, the minimum age has a direct impact on college basketball as well," Silver said. "We're not by any means rushing through this. I think this is a case where, actually, outside of the cycle of collective bargaining, we can spend more time on it with the players' association, talking to the individual players, talking to the executive board and really trying to understand the pros and cons of potentially moving the age limit."
Ten years ago, then-prep basketball phenom Brandon Jennings decided not to take the one-and-done college route to Arizona and instead opted to play professionally in Italy for a year with a lucrative shoe contract in hand. Looking back, the eight-year NBA veteran who most recently played in China has no regrets about his move. And with the FBI now cracking down on college stars receiving extra benefits without getting paid by the NCAA, the current G League Wisconsin Herd guard believes that elite high school stars should consider playing in the G League or overseas instead of taking the one-and-done route in the “billion-dollar business” of the NCAA. “My decision was for me,” Jennings said. “I always feel bad for the kids because I always felt like the kids should get paid in college, at least something. The NCAA is a billion-dollar business. You’re telling a kid like [Oklahoma’s] Trae Young, who is killing it and you’re telling me alumni or someone else can’t take him out to a nice dinner?"
Vincent Ellis: Stan Van Gundy dropped this gem on the one-and-done rule: “People that were against (players) coming out (of high school) made a lot of excuses, but I think a lot of it was racist. I’ve never heard anybody go up in arms about (minor-league baseball or hockey)."
Vincent Ellis: Stan Van Gundy on the college basketball scandal: “The NCAA is one of the worst organizations – maybe the worst organization – in sports. They certainly don’t care about the athlete.” #Pistons.
One issue is, of course, the one-and-done rule, where ballers play one year of college because NBA eligibility requires them to be one year removed from high school. Warriors forward Kevin Durant, for one, thinks the rule should be done away with. “You want these players to go out there and play on the biggest stage," he said in a video captured by The Athletic's Anthony Slater. "The Final Four is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, in sports, and they don’t get a dime for it. I don’t think it’s right. They go out there. They slave for these programs. To go out there and win a championship. These fans go to the game to see these players. Just like the NBA, they want to see the best players.”
August 7, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent forward Kent Bazemore has agreed to a one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
August 7, 2022 | 4:31 pm EDT Update
Goran Dragic talked to the Slovenian press before Saturday’s prep game against Montenegro and explained his motivation about his return to the Slovenian national team. “I predict the semi-finals, but then anything is possible”, said a smiling Dragic, who is ready to defend the title he won together with a young Luka Doncic back in 2017. However, after five years things are different and Dragic understands it: “In my opinion, I will play a little less minutes, it will not be at that level. I don’t know how much I played, 36 minutes per game? Everything will depend on how I feel. The role will definitely be different. I was Batman, but now I’ll be Robin. The most important thing will be to make sure we have good chemistry and be a leader on the court and lift guys up when it’s most difficult. My role remains the same, Luka’s may have changed a bit more, but I believe that everyone has their own role in the national team and that there will be no problems. We all understand each other, we are one big team, and that’s why we can make a good result. That chemistry is what other teams don’t have.”
Dragic had also to convince the Chicago Bulls to let him play, something that was not ideal for them: “When I had a medical exam with Chicago and sat down with them, they said I’d rather not play. I said I’d rather and in the end it’s the player who decides. I had to go to Chicago, undergo a medical examination and everything else. When you go to a medical examination, you always wait for the results, because you never know what can happen”.
And Dragic knows that the Eurobasket will not be a walk in the park: “This will be my toughest championship so far. I think a lot of national teams have players from the NBA. I believe that we will have good chances. I did not return to the national team to play for fifth or sixth place. The desire is for a medal, but now, as I said, it is necessary to go step by step”.
Law Murray: For the first time since 2017, Norman Powell is playing today @DrewLeague for Hometown Favorites He is the first current LA Clippers player to play at Drew League since Montrezl Harrell in 2019. pic.twitter.com/7fDl7wv6Lv