NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim today announced that Kai Sotto, a top prospect from the Philippines, has signed to play in the NBA G League next season. Sotto, ranked by ESPN as the No. 4 player in Georgia in the Class of 2020, spent this past season at Atlanta-based sports development organization The Skill Factory.
Sotto joins consensus five-star high school recruits Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix in signing to play in the NBA G League for the 2020-21 season. Details of the new team Sotto, Green, Todd and Nix will play for, which will be unaffiliated with any existing NBA G League franchise or NBA team, are forthcoming.
Shams Charania: Kai Sotto — a 7-foot-2 center from the Philippines — has decided to skip college and will be the first international draft prospect to sign a deal in the NBA G League pro program, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Memphis’ top target Jalen Green decided to go the NBA’s G-League path. Two other 5-star players decommited from their schools to play a year in the G-League instead. Some of the best young talent has been taken away from the college game. “Taking guys out of their commitments and they’ve already signed and continuing talking to their parents, it’s almost like tampering,” Memphis basketball head coach Penny Hardaway said. “I don’t agree with that.”
“I didn’t think that the G-League was built, and I could be wrong, to go and recruit kids who want to go to college, out of going to college," Hardaway expressed. “I thought they were going to be the organization that was going to be if you want to go overseas or you absolutely didn’t want to play college, 100% that this would be the best situation for you before you go into the NBA.”
John Calipari still thinks the G League path for elite college basketball recruits is a bad idea, even as the NBA's developmental league increases the value of the contracts offered to top prospects.
"My issue with the G League trying to entice players by giving them more money, is not the kids that you’re getting," Calipari said Monday during his weekly "Coffee with Cal" web show featuring guest Charles Barkley. "It’s the thousands of ninth and 10th graders that think that’s how they’re going to make it, when you and I know it’s going to be 2%. We’re not talking 50. It will be thousands and thousands and thousands."
Part of the G League's motivation to increase the value of these contracts is to keep players like R.J. Hampton from going to Australia in the future. "They’re talking about we don’t want them to go to Australia, New Zealand," Calipari said. "They’re not talking that many kids. ‘We don’t want to have to go travel.’ Well, you’re going to have to travel to see these kids anyway... I want to see in the next four or five years, the kids that chose to go to college, how they did. The money you’re going to get (from the G League) is negligible compared to what you will get if you really are good and get to your second (NBA) contract."
Shams Charania: Five-star prospect Daishen Nix has decommitted from UCLA and plans to sign in the NBA G League, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
After signing high school stars Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd to six-figure contracts that made headlines nationally, NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim is still targeting more young players to join the new pathway. The G League missed out on Texas power forward Greg Brown, who on Friday announced his plan to play for the University of Texas instead of accepting a $300,000 deal in the G League. “Yeah, I think there’s options out there to add more and they don’t have to be high school guys, they can be young international guys,” Abdur-Rahim, the No. 3 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, said in a phone interview. “We’ve had conversations there but there is opportunity for more of the high school guys, more young guys, to be a part of the program this year. If not, with Jalen and Isaiah, we think it’s totally fine.”
The 2020 Texas Mr. Basketball also had an offer paying over $300,000 offer from the budding G-League select program as of Wednesday, but Brown said that ultimately it was not a good fit for either side.
September 28, 2021 | 4:35 pm EDT Update
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr said Klay Thompson “basically did everything in practice today” since they didn’t scrimmage or do much contact. “Klay looked great. Shooting the lights out.”
Nick Friedell: Kerr says Draymond (excused absence) was not at Tuesday’s first practice. Kerr said he liked the “vibe” around the team — especially the fact that Klay is participating in non-contact drills and is in very good spirits as his rehab continues.
Gerald Bourguet: Cam Payne: “It feels like we’ve been in season for 3 years straight.” Reporter: “Was the break too shor-” Payne, immediately: “Yeah. It’s cool though. I was cool with the short break, ’cause we made it that far.”
Buying and selling six-figure JPEGs is a weird phenomenon but in the end doesn’t do a ton to convince the average internet user that NFTs are worth caring about though. Eternal wants to turn trading internet history into a game, but it’s focused on a very particular slice of the web — popular clips from game streamers. In a user interface that functions and feels very similar to NBA Top Shot, users can buy packs of serialized clips from Eternal’s network of game streamers they’ve partnered with.
The startup is building up a pretty wide roster of crypto investment firms and personalities as its backers including Mark Cuban, Coinbase Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuk, Dapper Labs and Arrington Capital, who have invested $4.5 million in the startup in its latest funding round. The team was previously backed by Y Combinator.
September 28, 2021 | 3:46 pm EDT Update
Sean Highkin: Damian Lillard says he feels better physically to start this training camp than he has going into other seasons because he took 20 days completely off training after the Olympics. “I need to prioritize. I’m not 24 no more.”