Sports Illustrated All-American Player of the Year Jalen Green and five-star prospect Isaiah Todd will headline a new NBA G League team launching next season in Los Angeles, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
The team will not be affiliated with an NBA franchise and will be part of the NBA's professional pathway program, a G League initiative that will pay elite prospects and provide a one-year development program separate from the league's prior makeup.
As a way to avoid having to assign top players to NBA affiliate franchises, the G League has considered developing such high-level prospects in an academy-type structure, according to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo.
Per Woo, the salary range for the top prospects in the pathway program is believed to be in the range of $500,000, including incentives and sponsorship opportunities.
The season could include 10 to 12 games against G League teams that wouldn't count in the standings, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Former NBA coach of the year Sam Mitchell is expected to be considered as one of the candidates to lead the team, according to ESPN, and the group will develop alongside professional basketball veterans.
Green, a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, announced Thursday he is bypassing college basketball to become the professional pathway's first participant. ESPN and Sports Illustrated first reported Green's decision.
“We’re thrilled to welcome a player and a person of Jalen’s caliber to the NBA G League,” league president Shareef Abdur-Rahim said Thursday in a statement. “He represents the next generation of NBA players, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him develop his professional skills in our league. Jalen will learn from an NBA-caliber coaching and player development staff as he begins his professional basketball journey in the NBA G League.”
Evan Mobley, another high-level prospect in the 2020 class was previously approached by the NBA G League, according to 247 Sports' Evan Daniels, but preferred to attend USC.
Green is also reportedly expected to be in line for a seven-figure shoe deal.
For More on Jalen Green's Decision:
Jason Jordan: Meet SI All-American's Player of the Year, Jalen Green