Report: Multiple 1st-Round NBA Prospects Told They Are Ineligible for G League

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2018

Big East's Mitchell Robinson dunks against Big West's during the second half of the McDonald's All- American boys high school basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Big West won 109-107. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Multiple NBA prospects reportedly looked into the possibility of playing in the G League this season instead of in the college ranks but were deemed ineligible. 

Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com reported the news Thursday, noting potential lottery pick Mitchell Robinson was one of the players.

"That ineligibility stems from a rule that prevents players who were enrolled in college during an academic calendar year from being offered a contract in the same season, unless they have been ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA with no opportunity of being reinstated," Givony wrote.

Givony explained players involved in the FBI's probe into college basketball who have not yet been ruled eligible and those who voluntarily withdrew from college—such as LiAngelo Ball—are not eligible for the G League.

Instead, they can sign overseas or train domestically before the NBA draft.

According to Givony, a number of NBA front offices have questioned why the G League will not allow these players to take the court this season so they can accumulate on-court resumes before they are draft eligible. Some even raised the possibility the NBA has colluded with the NCAA to stop players from bolting the college ranks for G League paychecks.

"We're not looking to compete with college basketball for their players," an NBA source said. "The NBA, specifically NBA lawyers, are concerned about the optics of NCAA players being disgruntled with minutes or coaching decisions and leaving college with the hopes of joining the G League."

Robinson is an example of someone who could have benefited from time in the G League after he withdrew from Western Kentucky two times before the college season started.

He told Evan Daniels of Scout he would spend his time training for the upcoming NBA draft, but the G League would have given him the opportunity to do just that against professional-level players.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman lists Robinson as the 18th-best player on his most recent draft big board.