They discuss the NBA’s new G League payment path, the top players in the 2019 draft class, the overall strength of the last few drafts and much more.
NBA Draft Wiretap
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are struggling to reach an agreement on lowering the league's minimum age to 18.
The NBA is attempting to attach two conditions: requiring player-agents furnish all teams with medical information on draft prospects and also mandating players' attendance and some level of participation in the pre-draft combine.
The NBA hopes to have a deal with the NBPA to remove the one-and-done rule in time for the 2022 NBA Draft.
The league and union must collectively bargain any changes to a CBA that was ratified in 2016.
USA Basketball today announced plans to collaborate with the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the expansion of its Men’s Junior National Team program to include additional training camps and year-round player development programming, with focuses on health and wellness and life skills.
Through the expansion, USA Basketball’s Junior National Team will build on its existing basketball development program to provide unprecedented on- and off-court player development opportunities for more than 80 top U.S. high school players.
Life-skills education and off-court development also will be major focus areas for the expanded program, with player education sessions on a variety of topics, including positive decision making, healthy relationships, cultural understanding and diversity, leadership and character development, collegiate eligibility and recruiting.
The expansion will also introduce a first-of-its-kind parent education program to provide families with resources and information designed to help them support their athlete’s development on and off the court.
Approximately 20 athletes from each high school class will participate in six training camps and competitions throughout the 2018-19 calendar year, including the first Junior National Team minicamp for players from all high school grades from Oct. 5-7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The 2018-19 schedule of USA Basketball Junior National Team training camps and competitions is as follows:
- Junior National Team Minicamp: October 2018 Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Junior National Team Minicamp: April 2019 Minneapolis, Minn.
- Nike Hoop Summit: April 2019 Portland, Ore.
- USA Basketball Training Camp: June 2019 Colorado Springs, Colo.
- FIBA Americas U16 Championship: June/July 2019 TBD
FIBA U19 World Cup: July 2019 TBD
- Junior National Team Minicamp: July 2019 Colorado Springs, Colo.
Darius Bazley has decided not to play in the G League this season and will instead train and prepare himself for the 2019 NBA Draft.
“Talking about it over with my group, we felt confidently that the G League wasn’t going to be needed and now I can use this time to work on my craft,” Bazley told The Athletic. “It’s mainly me talking to [agent] Rich [Paul], he knows so much, and whenever he speaks my ears perk up. When Miles [Bridges] was in Cleveland for his predraft workouts, whenever he got a chance to work out in front of NBA teams, I was working out in the gym, too. So that played a part in it, me playing well in those workouts for us to say there’s no upside in the G League. If you play well, it’s expected. If you don’t play well, you’re not NBA-ready. That’s what they’ll say. For me, working out and preparing is the best route.
“The G League is the only league where winning might not be everything. Development is the most important aspect, but guys are playing for the team and at the same time trying to play for themselves. That’s not the type of guy I am. For me in those settings to just get mine, I’ve never been brought up that way. I feel basketball is a team sport and everybody is supposed to eat. In the G League, that’s not the way it is. Everyone is trying to get an opportunity to go to the NBA.
“I take pride in my decision. There are no regrets at all. At the end of the day, people are going to do what they want to do. Whether it’s going to college, whether it’s skipping college to go to the NBA, whether it’s quitting basketball altogether — people will make their choices. This decision is what I wanted to do, and I embrace that. It’s my life, my decision, my path and my journey.”
Bazley would have had to sign a G League contract and enter the draft in October because he has not been part of the NBA draft. He was expected to be the No. 1 pick in the G League draft.
The NCAA's new rules allowing "elite" prospects to hire agents has blindsided top officials from the NBA and USA Basketball.
The NCAA assigned responsibility to identifying which prospects qualify as "elite" to USA Basketball, but the organization doesn't have the infrastructure or interest in accepting that role.
USA Basketball prefers that the NBA make those decisions, sources said. The NBA already oversees the invitation process to the Chicago pre-draft combine and Portsmouth Invitational camps every spring.
"We will review the NCAA's planned reforms and continue to assess, along with our Players' Association, the potential for any related NBA rules changes," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.
John Calipari, talking about the NCAA rules changes on SportsCenter, said "None of this goes into effect until the NBA and the Players Association come up with something, and I'm hearing it won't be until 2022 so we're probably wasting our breath dealing with the ins and outs of this.
The NCAA will allow "elite" high school and college players to be represented by agents. The initial proposal indicates USA Basketball would determine the "elite" criteria.
Players can be eligible for the NBA Draft and return to school if they go undrafted.
The move comes as the NBA is expected to eliminate the one-and-done rule within the next five years.
Brian Bowen has signed a professional contract with the Sydney Kings in Australia.
Bowen, the No. 14 ranked recruit in ESPN's Top 100 in 2017, is the first player signed to the NBL's Next Stars program, which was launched in March.
Bowen was one of the main figures identified in the FBI's sweeping investigation into corruption in college basketball, as his family was accused of being paid $100,000 by Adidas to commit to Louisville. Bowen subsequently transferred to South Carolina and practiced with the team, but he was ruled ineligible for the 18-19 season as well.
Teams have been privately told by executives within the league office not to expect a change to the one-and-done rule before the 2022 NBA Draft.
Players entering their freshman year of high school this year would be the first to benefit from the rule to enter the NBA directly without needing a requisite year in college.
The Miami Heat have already traded an unprotected first rounder in 2021 to the Phoenix Suns, which has since been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
There is a sense that the NBA would prefer to make the terms of the rule change clear before any change actually goes into place.
No team has yet traded an unprotected 2022 first rounder.
The Atlanta Hawks offered the Cleveland Cavaliers the opportunity to trade up to No. 3 in a deal that would have involved Kent Bazemore.
The Hawks instead swapped spots with the Dallas Mavericks at No. 5. Dallas selected Luka Doncic and the Hawks picked Trae Young.
The Cavaliers wanted Collin Sexton and held firm at No. 8.
Adam Silver revealed he believes the NBA is ready to scrap its one-and-done rule and begin to allow high school players to enter the NBA directly from high school again.
"I'm not here to say we have a problem," Silver said. "And I love where the league is right now. But I think we can create a better system."
Silver expects the new rule to be in place for the 2021 NBA Draft.
Silver was a proponent of making the eligibility age older, up to 20 instead of the current 19, though has changed his stance on that in recent weeks.
"My personal view is that we're ready to make that change," Silver said. "It won't come immediately. But when I've weighed the pros and cons, given that Condoleezza Rice and her commission have 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 think that tips the scale in my mind."