RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball brought the eyes of the world onto the NBL. Picture: Getty Images
RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball brought the eyes of the world onto the NBL. Picture: Getty Images

Bogut: NBL must ‘think outside square’ on Next Stars

Andrew Bogut believes the NBL's Next Stars program will be reduced to "second-tier" talent and not draft-bound big names such as LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton after the NBA's initiative to offer rising players more cash to remain in the US.

The future of the NBL's Next Stars program, which provides opportunities for budding players to skip US college and play a season in Australia to prepare for the draft, copped a hit during the week when the NBA's G League announced a decision to increase payments for elite prospects from $US125,000 to $US500,000.

The league will also provide an academy-like program.

It comes as likely 2021 No.1 NBA draft pick Jalen Green this week opted to bypass the US college system and the NBL's Next Stars program to join the G League.

Bogut says the increased financial incentives in the US will force the NBL to think outside the square to attract talent to Australia.

Blue chip NBA prospects RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball spent last season in the NBL as part of the Next Stars program. Picture: Getty Images
Blue chip NBA prospects RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball spent last season in the NBL as part of the Next Stars program. Picture: Getty Images

 

"I think it is going to be all the top-tier prospects, so your RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball, I don't think we will see those kinds of guys here again," Bogut told The Sunday Telegraph.

"It will just be second-tier prospects.

"I'm not sure how the NBA and the G League are going to structure it. Whether it is only one player a team who can get that big deal.

"But I guarantee they (the NBA) will continue tweaking it to ensure that young talent doesn't go overseas.

"I don't think there will be anything we can do about it unless you pay them a fair amount of money.

"But most kids will stay in their home country with their family if they can make similar money to what they make overseas.

"I guarantee you that 99.9 per cent of kids will stay over there."

 

Andrew Bogut says the NBL must reform its Next Stars program. Picture: Getty Images
Andrew Bogut says the NBL must reform its Next Stars program. Picture: Getty Images

 

Bogut praised the NBL for creating the Next Stars program, which has helped to place the Australian league on the global basketball map.

But he also revealed he warned league officials that the NBA would attempt to stop American talent from playing overseas.

"The writing was on the wall for me with this one," he said.

"I told Jeremy Loeliger at the NBL about three years ago in a meeting that I had with them in LA.

"I said it is a great idea but don't bank on it being long-term because the NBA doesn't like us or anyone doing it for that matter.

"People thought, 'no, it will be all right', but bob's your uncle and the NBA are now offering them more money than an NBL team can.

"But the NBL deserves credit. The Next Stars program has been sensational and has done great things.

"They've actually made the NBA do this, but now we have to work out new ways to get young talent over here."

 

 

 

Originally published as Bogut: NBL must 'think outside square' on Next Stars



JACARANDA 2020: Best Dressed Boy and Girl competition

JACARANDA 2020: Best Dressed Boy and Girl competition

Send in a photo of your best jacaranda costume by Sunday to be in the running for...

SPORTS AWARDS: Vote now for the 2020 People's Choice

SPORTS AWARDS: Vote now for the 2020 People's Choice

Votes are now open for the Grafton Shoppingworld People’s Choice Award for Clarence...

RURAL: Numbers return to the saleyard as price holds

Premium Content RURAL: Numbers return to the saleyard as price holds

Check out the prices and vendor of the week at Grafton Saleyards