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NBA: Prospects Make Unprecedented Move, Additional COVID-19 Cases Confirmed

At this time, the NBA playoffs should have already started with the Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks owning the highest NBA 2020 predictions of winning the championship.

But since the season is still suspended, the focus for these teams right now is looking into the future where the best young players in the world are expected to make their way into the league.

Names such as Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, and Deni Avdija are surefire picks for lottery clubs out there that were mentioned by my fellow SBOTOP writer.

But while the 2020 Draft roster is already set, the same can’t be said for the 2021 edition as guys like Isaiah Todd and Jalen Green made their biggest moves of their career as of the moment.

Here’s is today’s edition of our NBA 2020 updates.

 

Isaiah Todd and Jalen Green are turning pro

Two of the best prospects in high school made their unprecedented move which may change the basketball landscape.

Green, who was ranked No. 1 by ESPN in the class of 2020, received various offers to play for the likes of Auburn, Memphis, and the NBL in Australia. Todd, meanwhile, officially decommitted from the University of Michigan on April 14 and had been considering to play overseas. He was ranked 13th in the ESPN 2020 rankings.

Both of them confirmed recently that they will be foregoing the collegiate ranks by committing to the NBA G-League program.

“A lot of opportunities came, but the ultimate end goal is to get to the NBA. That being said, I decided to partner with the NBA G-League new team for elite players,” said Jalen Green.

“I believe it was the best thing for my game and for my career to better myself for the NBA. This option is the best way to go, being in the NBA’s backyard and to learn from pros and learn from NBA coaches and trainers,” said Isaiah Todd.

The signing of top high school prospects by the G League could be a start of a new trend in the basketball landscape, which includes an option for them to get paid without having to play overseas in Europe or Australia.

Both of them are expected to receive at least $500,000 and will reach over $1-M for endorsements, public appearances, and educational fees – allowing them to be developed under the NBA umbrella.

The G League is expected to surround Green and Todd with pro savvy coaches, which might give them a huge edge in the upcoming draft since they’ve already been tested with NBA talent.

“Players can look at us and use this as an alternative route if opportunity presents itself. We’re going to really learn about thinking the game first, and then transforming our bodies to be ready for the next level,” said Todd.

This is a massive blow to NCAA basketball who remain adamant that their players won’t get paid in a professional setting. But in recent years, the NCAA had been discussing options to allow players to make money off of their likeness and image.

 

Adam Silver confirms additional COVID-19 cases

NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed that there were additional positive cases for COVID-19, but their identities will remain undisclosed.

“While the number is greater than the initial report, for privacy reasons we are not reporting any other tests,” said Silver during a conference call last Friday.

Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive, while other players such as Donovan Mitchell, Christian Wood, Kevin Durant, and Marcus Smart followed shortly thereafter.

Three of Durant’s teammates and two Lakers were also confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus.

The 2019/20 NBA season has been suspended for more than a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. While there is optimism that the league will resume soon, it remains to be seen on when will it happen.

 

NBA, NBPA agree on implementing paycuts

Salaries and profits are often a contentious topic between the league office, players, and team owners. But yesterday, they have all agreed to a plan to withhold 25-per cent of the players’ earnings starting on May 15.

With the players not receiving their full salaries after May 1, the said deductions will be placed in an escrow account that would be returned to players should the season resume. Otherwise, teams would keep a percentage of the said money based on the cancellation of games.

This move will protect the league should the season remain suspended since teams will lose revenue off of sponsorship deals due to the canceled games.

 

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