Jalen Green, a five-star recruit and genuine candidate to be the top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, announced Thursday he’s bypassing college basketball to enter the NBA’s developmental G League.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Chris Hayes, the G League will create a “Select Team” with a few roster spots reserved for highly touted high schoolers who want to play professionally right away instead of taking the NCAA route.
The Athletic‘s Shams Charania reports the “Select Team” will be launched in Southern California.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, the “Select Team” is part of the NBA’s reshaped professional pathway program that enables elite high school prospects to earn $500,000-plus in a one-year development program.
Another five-star recruit, Isaiah Todd, will reportedly also join the G League team in Southern California. Todd de-committed from Michigan on Tuesday.
Green’s decision came down to either the G League or one of two colleges: Memphis or Auburn. He told Hayes he would’ve chosen Memphis if he’d opted for the college route, but that ultimately turning pro felt right.
“I wanted to get better overall and prepare myself for the NBA because that’s my ultimate goal,” Green told Hayes. “Everything was planned out right and set up for me to succeed. I think this was a good decision at the end of the day.
“I’m still going to be able to go back to college and finish school. So, it’s not really that I’m missing out on college because I can go back and finish whenever I need to. School is a big thing in my family.”