We had some big basketball news Thursday morning.
Jalen Green -- ESPN's No. 1 ranked high school prospect in the 2020 class, who spent his senior season locally at Profilic Prep in Napa -- announced that he would bypass college and sign with the NBA G League.
Reporting w/ @Draftexpress: Jalen Green is making the leap to a reshaped NBA professional pathway program, a G-League initiative that’ll pay elite prospects $500K-plus and provide a one-year development program outside of minor-league’s traditional team structure. Story soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 16, 2020
As NBA/NBPA talks on eliminating one-and-done remain stalled, strengthening the pro pathway initaitive became even more important to Adam Silver. In many ways, this is a bridge to that eventual day. LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton signing in Australia accelerated these changes.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 16, 2020
Sources: Jalen Green will headline a new G League team in Los Angeles and focus on development and preparation for NBA. https://t.co/BMnWfceUUH— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 16, 2020
About two months after Luka Doncic was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, he flew to the Bay Area for a private workout with Warriors superstar Steph Curry.
In August 2018, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic and new G-League commit Jalen Green took part in a secret workout together. Here’s the inside story about how that went down: https://t.co/hauXyH1nKp pic.twitter.com/od7BlfOttE— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) April 16, 2020
As NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh wrote early last year:
Curry had already scheduled a workout, led by his longtime trainer Brandon Payne of Accelerate Basketball, with high school phenom Jalen Green, who could be the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2020. After a call from Duffy, Payne made a slight change of plans.
Pretty cool, right?
There's another variable in all of this that impacts Golden State, and probably is of most interest to Warriors fans.
When the Warriors traded D'Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves in early February, they received Minnesota's 2021 first-round draft pick. The selection is top-three protected, meaning the T-Wolves will keep it if it lands at No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 overall (it becomes unprotected in 2022).
But if the lottery determines that Minnesota will have the No. 4 overall pick, it goes to the Warriors. And in late January, who did ESPN have slated at No. 4 overall in his 2021 mock draft?
Answer -- Jalen Green.
As Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz wrote:
The 6-foot-5 guard holds as much long-term upside as any prospect in the 2021 draft class and deserves heavy consideration for the first overall pick.
So much can change between now and the 2021 NBA Draft, and it's possible that Golden State ends up trading away that Minnesota pick.
But if you're a Warriors fan reading this, it's safe to assume you'll be keeping tabs on Green's development over the next 14 months ...