So much for Jalen Green changing the fortunes of a top college program in 2020-21.
Green told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
“I wanted to get better overall and prepare myself for the NBA because that's my ultimate goal. Everything was planned out right and set up for me to succeed. I think this was a good decision at the end of the day. I'm still going to be able to go back to college and finish school. So, it's not really that I'm missing out on college because I can go back and finish whenever I need to. School is a big thing in my family.”
He also told Haynes he would have committed to Memphis had he chosen to go to college.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Green's G League contract is expected to be worth in the range of $500,000 with the opportunity to increase with endorsements.
Charania added that the G League is planning to launch a new team in Southern California with Green as the centerpiece.
Green checks in at 6'5" and 170 pounds and is a 5-star prospect in 247Sports' composite rankings. He is the No. 3 overall player, No. 2 combo guard and No. 2 player from the state of California in the 2020 class.
His versatility stands out because he can handle the ball on the offensive side or hit from deep while playing shooting guard. He can also slash into the lane as either a scorer or facilitator and doesn't hesitate to get out in transition when the opportunity presents itself.
Green also brings a high ceiling on the defensive side as someone who can rebound from the backcourt, press up onto ball-handlers and contest perimeter shots with his length.
That skill set should translate to the professional level even without any collegiate experience.
Before Green made his decision, Evan Daniels of 247Sports cited sources who called the G League "the favorite" over collegiate suitors such as Auburn and Memphis and noted other top recruits are also considering such a path.
"When the G League announced their intentions of creating a program that would harbor prospects that opted out of college, the salary released to try and entice potential players was $125,000," Daniels wrote. "Sources have indicated to 247Sports that the G League is now willing to pay more for the right prospects."
If Green lives up to the hype as a G League player, it wouldn't be a surprise to see his name atop the 2021 NBA draft board.
Still, his decision surely came as something of a surprise for top colleges that hoped he would choose them.