By LARRY VAUGHT
When I got to see point guard Daishen Nix of Las Vegas play at Marshall County Hoopfest in December, I was impressed by every part of his game and amazed Kentucky had just quit showing interest in him like it had Jalen Green.
It made me think that if Kentucky coach John Calipari felt so good about getting Terrence Clarke and Brandon Boston that he didn’t need Nix or Green, then UK’s 2020 recruiting class was loaded.
Now maybe I realize Calipari just knew what might happen. First Green turned down every college offer to sign a $500,000 deal with the G-League. Nix did sign with UCLA but now he’s also saying no to college and taking a deal worth $300,000 to $400,000 from the G-League for next year.
And don’t forget that another former UK recruiting target, Isaiah Todd, who had signed with Michigan recently took a reported $200,000 offer to play in the G-League, too.
Like Nix and Green, Todd also played in western Kentucky last season at the McCracken County Mustang Madness. He would not really explain what happened that caused him and UK to part ways.
It’s no surprise that Calipari is not a G League fan — and that came before the league tried to lure Clarke away from UK only to have him say no thanks.
“My issue with the G League trying to entice players by giving them more money, is not the kids that you’re getting,” Calipari said during his weekly ‘Coffee with Cal’ Monday featuring guest Charles Barkley. “It’s the thousands of ninth and 10th graders that think that’s how they’re going to make it, when you and I know it’s going to be two percent. We’re not talking 50. It will be thousands and thousands and thousands.”
Barkley, a former NBA all-star, doesn’t think the G League is a good option for most players, either. He also doesn’t believe players should go straight from high school to the NBA.
“People look at Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron (James),. They don’t look at the rest of the (high school) guys who sucked who came to the NBA. They’re not physically, emotionally or mentally ready to play in the NBA. I think they should have to go to college for two years,” Barkley said.
Calipari said he wants to monitor how players who go to the G League did financially compared to top players who go to college.
“The money you’re going to get (from the G League) is negligible compared to what you will get if you really are good and get to your second (NBA) contract,” Calipari said.