Many predicted college basketball would never be the same when last year a group of highly-touted recruits decided to play for G-League Ignite instead of the top NCAA teams that recruited them. Sure enough, one year later a major rule change took place, known as the NIL (names, images or likeness) rule, allowing college athletes to profit off their own brand without encountering NCAA violations.
That change may have been inevitable either way, but G-League Ignite big man Isaiah Todd believes that team, which also featured likely top draft picks Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, helped make it happen.
"I take pride in the NCAA changing that rule where guys can make money off their name and likeness. I feel like Team Ignite may have had something to do with that," Todd said.
Todd made those comments after participating in a pre-draft workout with the Wizards on Tuesday. He played one season for the G-League and is now going through the pre-draft process, hoping to take the next step in his career.
By going the G-League route, Todd feels he helped his game by being able to focus on only basketball. He had professional coaches, trainers, and believes all of it has put him in a good position as he enters the NBA.
Todd had offers from schools like Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky and North Carolina as the 15th-ranked player in his class and the No. 3 ranked center. With Ignite, he played in 13 games and averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds.
Todd originally committed to Michigan before deciding to play in the G-League. He received a contract worth upwards of $250,000 based on performance bonuses.
Todd now hopes to make much more in a long NBA career. But he already looks back on his time with the Ignite as a positive.
"I feel great about being part of that first group and actually making some type of change," he said.