The NBA is shutting down G League Ignite after this season

The NBA will shut down its G League Ignite team after this season, eliminating a development team of elite prospects and veterans that was launched in 2020, sources familiar with the matter said. The athlete On Thursday, a decision that was confirmed by the League later in the day.

The NBA launched Ignite at a time when no other American professional league offered a path for pre-draft eligible players to be highly compensated to play before entering the draft. With the advent of the Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) and transfer portal in college basketball, the need for an elite Ignite team has been eliminated. Now, the NIL allows players to earn money while going to college and getting NCAA experience.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at All-Star Weekend last month that the Ignite's future is being reevaluated.

“I'm not sure what the future of the Ignite team will be because before that I felt there was a gap in the market that we were filling,” Silver said. “Now my focus is on the early development of these players.”

The league's first two signings — the Houston Rockets' Jalen Green and the Golden State Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga, the No. 2 and No. 7 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, respectively — represent tremendous success stories and proof of the Ignite Four's accomplishment. -General operation. Last year, Scott Henderson finished third overall for Portland after a standout season at Ignite. The elite prospect's salaries were thought to be as high as $1 million per season, much like Henderson's deal in 2022-23.

Since 2020, Ignite has produced more than 10 draft picks, including four top-10 picks. G League President Sharif Abdel-Rahim oversaw Ignite's roster and coaching staff, hiring respected former NBA players and coaches such as Brian Shaw and Jason Hart as head coaches of the program over a four-year period.

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The Ignite have struggled this season with a 6-40 record, although Matas Bozlis and Ron Holland are projected to be potential lottery picks in June's draft. Ignite's last match is scheduled for March 28.

“Four years ago, we started Ignite to fill a void in the basketball landscape, and I’m proud of the contributions we’ve been able to make to this ecosystem,” Abdel-Rahim said in a statement. “With the changing environment across youth and college basketball, now is the right time to make this move. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to General Manager Anthony McLeish, Head Coach Jason Hart and their staff and to every player who has worn an Ignite jersey. As always, the G League’s commitment to developing The best talent in the NBA and helping players achieve their unwavering NBA dreams.

(Top photo by Ron Holland, London Johnson and Eric Mika: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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