MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - New University of Memphis head men’s basketball coach Penny Hardaway is locked in recruiting battles with the blue bloods of college basketball for many of the nation’s elite players, but now he and his competitors may have to battle with the NBA G-League as well.
ESPN reports, the NBA’s development league is creating “a new venture as an alternative to the one-and-done route for the best American basketball prospects.”
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.”
Penny said parents have a big say in how the decision will be made,
“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.”