Memphis’ Penny Hardaway calls recruiting impact of G League ‘huge’


Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, no stranger to the nuances and hurdles of the recruiting trail, says it will only get tougher with the entry of the G League.

Hardaway, speaking to ESPN’s The Jump in an interview aired Thursday, said it came as an unpleasant surprise when the NBA began allowing high schoolers to sign with a G League pathway program.

“It’s going to have a huge impact, because it’s just a recruiting war right now when it comes to that,” Hardaway said. “But I think it’s going to affect us because we’re recruiting a bunch of five stars.”

Last week, Kai Sotto, a 7-foot-2 center from the Philippines, became the fourth player to sign with the new G League select team for next season.

Sotto joined five-star high school recruits Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix on the new team, one that will be unaffiliated with any NBA club or any existing G League franchise.

The NBA’s initial designs last year called for offers of $125,000. But contracts for players in the G League’s yearlong developmental program will now reportedly reach as much as $500,000.

“When they took the money from a smaller level to a larger level, then that’s fair,” Hardaway said. “That’s definitely more appealing to a certain group of guys as we saw this year.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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