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Duke Recruiting: Derek Lively Gets A G-League Offer

$500,000 isn't what it used to be

Sioux Falls Skyforce v Memphis Hustle
The G-League might pay a decent salary, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a minor league that gets minimal attention.
Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

We don’t know where the Derek Lively recruiting battle stands right now but we do know that Duke and Kentucky are two of the schools in hot pursuit of the young star.

Things got a bit more interesting for everyone after the G-League offered $500,000 to Lively (they also offered another prime UK target, Shaedon Sharpe).

But here’s the thing: for premier recruits, that’s not really a competitive offer. We’re just at the dawn of the age of NIL and some college athletes have already received million dollar deals.

When you add in the exposure you would get at Kentucky or Duke, $500,000 is probably low ball. What did the exposure at Duke do for Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett? Williamson didn’t get paid at Duke but signed contracts within a few months after leaving for $96 million. His unique abilities and charisma would have followed him into the G-League but Barrett? No, it would not have. And it won’t follow many other guys either.

You’d have to pause to think about it, and maybe one of these guys will take the deal, but at this point, it probably is more appealing to guys who have no interest at all in college. Essentially, playing in the G-League or Elite Overtime, at least for premier talents, means taking a pay cut.