Would you turn down approximately $700,000 to play basketball and skip college? Well, that’s exactly what a group of California businessmen are pitching, as they are forming a semi-pro team that will play in Las Vegas and which will try to attract top-tier talent to skip college for one year and then declare for the NBA.
Cerruti Brown, owner of the Las Vegas Dealers semi-pro team, is trying to make a splash and in essence, get rid of the one-and-done players in college basketball. The team would play in exhibitions and showcase their talent against teams from Europe.
More from Kami Mattioli of the Sporting News (Dated May 11):
“College is not for every young man that is trying to use basketball to provide a better situation for their families,” Brown says.
“Our innovative model targets the McDonald’s All-Americans who are projected first round prospects by NBA scouts and general managers. This concept allows for the highly touted player to bypass college and immediately become a paid professional. We are able to offer competitive salaries averaging around $700k to the highly touted McDonald’s All-Americans who are typically ‘one-and-done’ players and $400k for college underclassmen. The Dealers niche will be based on giving basketball players a different option than what is presently offered in America. Before this, underclassmen had to either play college ball or go overseas. Venturing to Europe will not be a necessity when a U.S. based organization will play top European teams.”
If you watch the video in the linked story above, the Sporting News‘ Mike DeCourcy brings up some valid points about how much of a money dump this could become. To have a payroll in excess of $5 million and have costs to set up premier exhibitions while having no TV revenue to fall back on is dumb, DeCourcy suggests.
With players like Emmanuel Mudiay and Brandon Jennings skipping college to play overseas in recent years, this league could have been an alternative for players of that ilk. The Dealers season is set to begin for the 2015-16 season. This idea is not bad, but logistics says this has nightmare written all over it.