I think the Economics here are all kind of flawed.
It’s impossible to measure what it would mean for the TV deals if prospects like Jayson Tatum and Lonzo Ball passed on college. What if non-top-10 recruits like Texas’s Jarrett Allen and Arizona’s Rawle Alkins opted to go to the G-League rather than play in college?
The effect would be zero. The UCLA alums would watch their team with or without Lonzo Ball. On top of this, college is a sham for most of these players who burn money to get an education they don’t care about while their coaches all earn a million / year.
If the plan is to make top NBA players, then you get them into G-League ASAP and place them with the top NBA coaches and trainers. I would rather have 20-year olds with 2 years of challenging G-League training than two years of college ball where they walk all over competitors while deciding whether to attend classes.
The agent said he would advise his clients to take the $50,000
What the heck, $50k? OK that needs to be fixed too. That’s too low, it’s basically the value of one year of “free-ride” in a top college.
These players should be getting $100k / year. That’s less than $2M / year / team, or about 2% of their current salary load, that’s nothing. Plus the $100k will enable the 80%+ who don’t make the NBA to pursue a college career in their 20s.
If there’s some worry about 18 year olds burning the money, the Player’s Association can work out a college fund / future savings fund / whatever. If you get drafted into the NBA at 18, spend two years in G-League and never progress, then at least you have money in the bank for your next life.
If we really want to put the best game on the court, we should get 18-year olds into the professional training right out of high school. Even if that professional training is the G-League.
Why should skilled players be forced into unpaid slave labour in college? Why should the NBA be trusting the college system to provide them with talent that they are more than capable of sourcing on their own?