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.