LaMelo Ball Declares For Draft; College Athletes To Be Paid

Grace Higgins | April 29th, 2020

Amidst the slew of top prospects opting to forgo their college experience for the NBA G-League, the NCAA top governing body has allowed for college athletes to start making money from their name and likeness through endorsement contracts.

The schools will not be involved in the payments.

This past September, California became the first state to allow college athletes to profit from their play with the passing of the “Fair Pay to Play” law. With California being the only state at the time to allow of this, that could give schools in that state an unfair advantage to sign top prospects. One of those top prospects, five-star point guard Daishen Nix, decommitted from UCLA to join the NBA G-League.

Nix, who was ranked 20th in the ESPN 100 for 2020, joins the number one prospect, Jalen Green, and five-star forward Isaiah Todd in their ventures in the NBA G-League. The three players have set a precedent for future top prospects to give an alternative route. The NCAA is feeling the pressure of losing these top prospects, thus leading to the recent ability for college athletes to start profiting in 2021.

Todd, the number 13 recruit for the 2020 class, decommitted from Michigan to pursue the NBA G-League route, which provides up to a $500,000 salary for playing in games. Other top prospects from the 2020 class to expectedly skip college are Makur Maker, MarJon Beauchamp and Kenyon Martin Jr.

When RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball decided to skip college and play professionally in Australia, other top prospects took notice and decided to copy the alternative approaches.

Ball, who is the younger brother of NBA point guard Lonzo Ball, declared for the 2020 NBA Draft and is slated as the number one overall pick depending on which team receives that pick. Ball played 12 games professionally in Australia, averaging 17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.

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