2018 McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley initially had a scholarship at Syracuse until I March he decided to forego that to play a season in the G-League ( can we go back to calling it the D-League?). That too is no longer happening. Bazley signed with agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports in May and is going to also forego hooping in that league to serve as a New Balance.
As reported by the New York Times’ Marc Stein:
This week, Paul revealed he has arranged for Bazley to spend the heart of the college basketball season—January, February and March—as an intern at New Balance.
“The internship, to be precise, is folded into a handsome shoe contract Bazley, 18, has landed with New Balance on the lure of his pro potential. According to Paul, Bazley’s multiyear deal will pay him $1 million ‘no matter what happens’ with his NBA career—and can pay up to $14 million if he reaches all performance incentives
Of the internship, Bazley said, “They booked me up.”
Although Bazley will not be in that league, Rich Paul does not seemed to be concern about him missing on court time and gaining experience saying this:
There will be some things he misses out on, but I’m not worried at all—not with the talent and skill set he has,” Paul said. “No matter what we do this year, he still has to be developed in the NBA. You see it even with the highest draft picks—it’s not like you come into the league as a rookie and set the league on fire.
The path that Bazley is blazing could be a viable option at least until 2023 , which is when the current one-and-done rule could changed in collective bargaining with the NBA Players Association.