NBA Draft: Top prospects choosing G League would be beneficial for NCAA

2021 NBA Draft prospect Jalen Green (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
2021 NBA Draft prospect Jalen Green (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Exploring why future NBA Draft prospects, that would otherwise be one and done players in the NCAA, is good for college basketball.

The highest-rated high school basketball player, Jalen Green, is forgoing the NCAA and joining the NBA G-League instead. Other players seem likely to follow this path for no other reason than they will get paid.

The NCAA not paying athletes and not allowing them to get paid for endorsements while making millions of dollars from their athletes seems unfair because it is. I have no problem with the star players passing up the opportunity to go to college for one year and exploring routes that weren’t available or at least not common as recent as five years ago or so. They can and they should, but the surprising part is that I don’t think it’s bad for the NCAA either.

The one and done era don’t give continuity or familiarity to college basketball fans. It’s typically just big programs get star players for a year and then replace them with new stars the following year. I actually think eliminating those guys from the NCAA is a good thing.

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The team-building of having to assemble a core that has chemistry will be much more interesting and will allow big-name players to develop over three or four years in college as opposed to being pre-determined to be a top-five pick the year after entering the NCAA. Some guys that otherwise wouldn’t get the attention that flashy freshmen get will suddenly have the opportunity to be the faces of college hoops by growing in the college system into their junior and senior years.

College coaches would be challenged by having to assemble a better fitting cast rather than just recruiting the top guys and hoping talent wins out.

The biggest part that I love about removing the one and done guys are those true rivalries that could come about in March Madness. By taking out the rotating rosters and having guys that are mostly going to stay will lead to seeing some matchups become common for a few years with a bit of background and storyline.

Even the regular season could become interesting again if two guys from big programs with a heated rivalry over the years being the face of NCAA men’s basketball play against each other in a big conference game. Imagine UNC against Duke with mostly juniors and seniors being the stars of the team.

Are you telling me that over those multiple years facing up in the regular season, conference tourneys and March Madness wouldn’t add to the bitterness of the rivalry? Would you not be more intrigued by the name on the front of the jersey after seeing a core grow together even after winning a national championship?

I get why the star players that don’t intend to hang around anyway will opt to get paid for a year, but I say good riddance. College basketball would be so much better without the one and done guys. It would become about the programs and building them up as opposed to the individual stars and recruiting them.

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I think this mutual split is necessary for both the players that have no business risking their health without getting paid and the NCAA as well. I, for one, can only hope this trend continues to become the norm.