Darius Bazley, a five-star recruit who previously committed to Syracuse, announced Thursday that he will skip college and go right to the NBA G-League.
Bazley is a 6-foot 8-inch power forward from Ohio.
According to ESPN’s top 100 high school recruits, Bazley ranks ninth overall. He’s the second best prospect by position.
— D Baze (@BazleyDarius) March 29, 2018
Bazley told Yahoo! Sports, “The G League will have the most to offer, considering that is the development league for the NBA. I will get more out of that than going overseas. The G League is the closest thing to the NBA.”
The NBA does not allow players to enter the draft directly after high school and until they are 19 years old.
While Bazley is not the first NBA hopeful to skip college basketball, he is the first to do it for the G-League. His choice, in conjunction with the recent NCAA pay-for-play scandal, could start a trend to allow players another option.
Emmanuel Mudiay, Brandon Jennings and Terrance Ferguson also chose not to play college basketball but instead opted to go overseas for that year. All three of them were drafted in the first round.
According to ESPN, Bazley is only scheduled to receive approximately $30,000 in salary during his year in the G-League; however, he is free to receive endorsements and shoe deals.
Anfernee Simons, the seventh-ranked prospect in ESPN’s rankings, has also decided to skip college. Instead, Simons is entering the draft. Simons, 19, spent this past year at IMG Academy, which was his fifth year in high school, after technically graduating in 2017, hence is current eligibility status.