I get that a two-way contract will net you $500k, but doesn’t that also start a countdown to score a full-time NBA contract before probably getting consigned to a $40k salary or whatever the G-League minimum is?
The atmosphere of those G-League games also sucks, compared to the bigger basketball schools. In general, it seems like those dudes are toiling away hoping to get a call-up, similar to how the baseball minor leagues seem to work. It seems like a huge bummer to me.
One of the other aspects touched on in the podcast was the opportunity to develop in the G-League since you don’t have to worry about classes, and you’re playing against better competition. But looking at the G-League coaching salaries, I would imagine that the coaching quality is a huge step down in the G-League compared to high-level college basketball. So are the development opportunities really that much better?
I’m legitimately curious in a conversation about the pros and cons of going the G-League route vs. staying in school. Note, I’m mostly thinking about this from the standpoint of a guy like Reece rather than someone who jumps straight into the G-League like London Johnson.
Personally I think it is being able to play basketball and work out etc full time as a job with no real costs. Being said when you get there it may not be exactly what you thought it would be but thats what I would think
And you are havinga direct audition for the big league as a player or coach. Also lots of foreign scouts etc around as well
That’s fair, though I wonder if the financial decisions change as college sports (at least for football/basketball) swing more towards regular employment. Like the two-way contract is good money, but it has a shelf life, and the G-League minimum salary straight sucks.
In terms of scouts, are there that many more scouts watching G-League games compared to college basketball?
Scouts no, but it’s much more of a direct access line. A player can go straight from Gleague to a roster with essentially no barriers at most any time. Can’t do that in college. The money isn’t great, but getting your foot in the door as a professional is a big step in the process.
Really the way I’d seen it framed before is this: college ball is to improve the level of investment an NBA team will make in you. You want to leave when that investment will be highest, not necessarily wait until you are actually ready for the NBA. Once you are on the radar and can get a team invested in your success, the G League is a better place for individual skill development.
They really aren’t competing against each other (outside of the Ignite team) they are more like different steps on the journey. Some kids think they are ready for step 2 before they actually are and leave too early. Many kids will never actually be good enough for step 2 and should stay at step 1 for as long as possible
I didn’t think the two-way contract paid anywhere near $500k. I believe Golden State was paying $240k to Anthony Lamb for his two way contract. Ignite has a different pay scale to entice a few high profile kids to skip college.
Christian Wood is one example that jumps to mind. He spent 5 years in the G-League/Summer League shuffle before eventually making it all the way to a $40mm (3-year) contract. But one could also argue that it’s not a success story, because maybe he could have taken a faster route to success? Take a look at his pro career (Wikipedia summary below), it’s a long road of short stops, stringing together whatever you can get.