This week, Five-star recruit Jonathan Kuminga decided to go to the G League Professional Path instead of going to play in college. Kuminga was formerly the number one overall recruit in the class of 2021 but recently reclassified to the class of 2020, where he is ranked fourth overall.
Kuminga’s decision to use the G League path marks the fourth top 20 player in the class of 2020 to go that route and the second top-four player. With the lack of financial incentive to play in college, top prospects are taking this opportunity to make money as soon as they can. Top prospects using the G League path can make up to $500,000 a year. This poses a huge problem for the NCAA. If the top-ranked players are still getting a lot of looks from NBA scouts and are getting paid half a million dollars, why should they go to college? Most of the top recruits are going to be one and done in college anyway, so why would they want to go take classes when they could just be hooping all day and making a lot of money.
Although not everyone will decide to go the G League route, it will continue to take some of the top recruits. The NCAA is reliant on big-name players for advertising. Imagine if Zion Williamson decided to go to the G League. There would be a huge group of people tuning in to watch him instead of watching an NCAA game. When it comes to watching college basketball, some people only tune it to watch the stars and the projected top picks. Without some of the big names playing in college, the NCAA will take a significant hit.
As long as the NCAA remains stubborn in paying their players, they will see a decrease in the amount of top talent that decides to go to college. The draft position of players in the G League Professional Path will be very telling of what the future top recruits decide to do after high school.
Shoutout to Jalen Green who will also be going to the G League Professional Path!
(All Rankings are according to 247 Sports)