As Princepal Singh signs with NBA G League, a look at what the Select Contract entails
After India's Princepal Singh signed with the NBA G League on a Select Contract, here's everything you need to know about the professional pathway of NBA's development league.
Princepal Singh made headlines on Tuesday after earning a NBA G League Select Contract. The 6’10” youngster from Ludhiana will be the third Indian to feature in the G League, which is the NBA’s development league, after Satnam Singh and Amjyot Singh Gill. Princepal becomes the first NBA Academy graduate to sign with the NBA G League and the first NBA Academy India graduate to sign a professional contract.
But what is a Select Contract and what is a Select Team?
The Select Team is a professional pathway for basketball players to be part of the NBA G League. The Select Contract helps an athlete sharpen their skill before they can enlist for the NBA Draft. Currently, USA has a rule requiring American players to wait a year after graduating high school before enlisting for the NBA Draft.
The contract guarantees a minimum of $1,25,000 (with there being rumours that athletes like Jalen Green, who will be Princepal’s teammate on the Select Team, expected to earn nearly $5,00,000) for the five-month-long G League season. This is much higher than the average G League player’s salary.
Exhibition games against G League teams
American players on Select Contracts are not eligible to play for the NBA, but can enlist themselves in the Draft after a season.
It must also be noted that the G League Select Team is not affiliated to any NBA franchise or G League team. They will play 10-12 exhibition games against G League teams which will not count in the overall G League standings. The Select Team will also have opportunities to face foreign national teams and NBA Academy teams.
However, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the NBA has “long-range” plans of growing the Select Team concept into a division inside the G League featuring multiple teams that can play against each other.
The NBA has long-range hopes of growing its G League "Select Team" concept starring @JalenGreen into a "division" within the @nbagleague featuring multiple teams that can play against each other, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 22, 2020
Why the NBA started the Select Team concept
The NBA came up with the Select Team idea after talented prospects such as LaMelo Ball (the brother of New Orleans Pelicans star Lonzo Ball) and RJ Hampton skipped college to go play abroad in the Australian league. Many elite players too would have followed suit in the coming years because the NCAA doesn’t allow college athletes to make money, and leagues abroad such as the one in Australia pay lucrative amounts to players to skip college and play for them instead. The Select Team concept is meant to keep top players from leaving the country to play abroad after skipping college by paying them a handsome salary.
The NBA has said it was exploring opportunities for players signed on G League’s Select Contracts to be given academic scholarships, and life training skills. More importantly, a Select Contract offers a youth athlete the chance to be mentored by veterans who would be in the same team.
Besides that, the Select Team will be coached by Brian Shaw, who was the head coach of the Denver Nuggets for two seasons. He’s also been an assistant head coach of the Indiana Pacers (two seasons) and the Los Angeles Lakers (three seasons). His seven-year stint at the Lakers as part of their coaching set-ups saw the franchise claim NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.
Shaw, a five-time NBA champion, will also bring to the table his considerable experience of playing in the NBA for 14 years, including stints with the Lakers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers.
One thing though is certain: there will be a lot of focus on the Select Team this year considering the presence of talented players like Green, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix, Kai Sotto and Jonathan Kuminga, who will be on the radar of NBA teams after impressing in high school.
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