The G League has clearly changed the college recruitment game with its select program.
Instead of elite high school prospects only having two options — heading to a university or going overseas — they now have the choice of playing against fellow NBA aspirants and ex-pros while being under the tutelage of veteran coaches in the NBA’s minor league. Moreover, they will receive a base salary for their stay in the G League.
“The NBA is the best development system in the world, and those players shouldn’t have to go somewhere else to develop for a year. They should be in our development system,” G League president Shareef Adbur-Rahim told ESPN a month ago.
Four elite prospects have entered the program — namely five-star recruits Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix, along with four-star prospect Kai Sotto.
All four will play under one team reportedly based in Southern California, and will be coached by former NBA Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell.
Sotto knows the capabilities of Green, having faced him twice in the Chooks-to-Go NBTC National Finals. But he has yet to meet Todd and Nix.
“I haven’t really seen the two other players, Todd and Nix, but I’m really excited to play with Jalen Green because I got to play against him,” said the 18-year-old Sotto during a Zoom press conference hosted by his management group East West Private.
“Both games, I lost, so I just can’t wait to play with a great player like him, share the basketball court with him, learn from him.”
So who are Todd and Nix? Well, here is what we know from them so far.
Just like Green, Todd is a highly-touted prospect. The 6-foot-10 big man is rated five-stars by ranking bodies Rivals, 247 Sports, and ESPN — all ranking him 14 in the class of 2020.
Todd initially committed to play for University of Michigan, but later on had a change of heart to go to the G League
The 18-year-old played his senior year in Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina to play under coach Byron Williams. He was supposed to play in high school showcases McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, but the events were cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Todd was also part of the USA squad that won gold in the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship.
Though a big man, Todd already sports an outside shot, making his tandem with Sotto dangerous as defenses will have to stretch out to defend the duo.
With Todd and Sotto forming the teams frontcourt, joining Green in the backcourt is 6-foot-5 floor general Nix.
Nix is also rated five-stars by Rivals, 247 Sports, and ESPN, but his overall ranking ranged from 11th (247) to 20 (ESPN). The 18-year-old is still seen as the top pure point guard in the class of 2020.
Nix spent his entire high school career at Trinity International in Las Vegas, Nevada, leading the school to two National Christian School Athletic Association Division I titles. In his senior year, he also played for training ground Simply Fundamental.
He initially committed to University of California, Los Angeles. But like Todd, he also made a u-turn, entering the G League instead.
Nix is known to be a lockdown defender and a willing passer.
The G League Select Program
Besides the training they will receive, the quartet will play around 15 exhibition games against G League teams and international clubs.
Once they have completed the program, Sotto, Green, Todd, and Nix will be eligible to enter the 2021 NBA Draft.
The G League continues its recruitment spree to fill up the squad of elite prospects.