Five-star recruit Darius Bazley has done his part to change the game of college basketball by becoming the first American basketball prospect to skip college and join the G League out of high school. Bazley,17, played in the McDonald’s All-American game on Wednesday and dropped 11 points, seven boards and flexed his all-around skills. Then he revealed his plans to the basketball world.
Yahoo Sports story: McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley decommits at Syracuse, becomes first top high school prospect to choose turning professional in the NBA G League. https://t.co/aM7VW2GF9M
While players still must be 19 to enter the NBA Draft, the age limit for G League players is 18. Bazley had been committed to Syracuse, but he will decommit so he can sign a G League contract upon turning 18.
Bazley’s power move will undoubtedly set a new precedent for young athletes and in the process strengthen the G-League by making it a true minor leagues for the NBA and not just a league that harbors borderline NBA players.
Bazley is already a projected Top -10 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft so it makes since for the 6-foot-9 multifaceted baller to skip college completely rather than risking injury and existing within the restrictive confines of NCAA hoops.
In addition, Bazley can start getting paid right away. G League salaries have bases of either $19,500 or $26,000.
We’ve heard of elite high school ballers going overseas to play, but this move is unprecedented and reflects a changing landscape in college basketball which was initiated by LaVar Balls unique business practices and refusal to relinquish his sons to an NCAA system that is increasingly accused of being corrupt.
Bazley explained his decision to Yahoo Sports:
The G League will have the most to offer, considering that is the development league for the NBA, he continued. I will get more out of that than going overseas. The G League is the closest thing to the NBA. I see most guys now are spending time in the G League even after they went to school and the draft, so this gives me the chance to accelerate the process. There have been a lot of successful guys who have been brought up in the G League, and Im confident that I will be one of them.
It makes sense and is a perfect way to circumvent the NBAs one-and-done rule and go right to the pros.