The NBA has hired former player Rod Strickland to manage the league’s transitional program for high school players going into the G League. The professional path program will provide high school players with an option to be paid with a G League contract.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has the full report:

Strickland, a 17-year NBA veteran and former college assistant, will work to evaluate, educate and mentor elite prospects on the apparatuses of the new initiative that offers select, elite high school prospects the option to bypass NCAA basketball to accept a $125,000 salary in a five-month G League season.

Rod Strickland, one of the best combo guards to ever play in the league, will work with a former WNBA player in Allison Feaster. Feaster pointed out that the program will no longer include prospects who are already committed to schools, and that they will approach the selection process carefully:

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“It will be elite prospects with a readiness for a professional league,” Feaster told ESPN. “We want to target players who would not be going to a university if it weren’t for the NBA eligibility rule. That’s more or less what’s going to dictate this.”

With this program, the NBA could be addressing the growing clamor that prospects should be paid professionally because of the revenues and profits they bring to the table. LaVar Ball’s creation of the Junior Basketball Association further gave rise to this belief.

On top of that, this program could be a startup act for the rumors that the NBA is planning to abolish the one-and-done rule in the future.