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The future of the NBA’s G League Ignite has officially been put into question.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters Saturday ahead of the All-Star Skills Competition at Lucas Oil Stadium that the league intends to re-evaluate the G League Ignite following the introduction of name, image and likeness into college basketball.

Silver said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:

“I think given that that’s happened, I think we are in the process of reassessing Team Ignite. Because now some of those same players who didn’t want to be one-and-done players because they felt it was unfair and they wanted the ability not just to earn a living playing basketball but to do commercial deals that weren’t available to them at college, to hire professional agents, an opportunity that wasn’t available to them at college, they now — all of those same opportunities have become available to them.

“I’m not sure what the future of Team Ignite will be, because before there was a hole in the marketplace that we thought we were filling before doing that, and now my focus is turning to earlier development of those players.”

The NBA launched the Ignite in 2020 as a development program for potential draft prospects to be paid to play basketball.

At that point in time, college athletes weren’t being paid and joining the Ignite was considered an attractive option to draft eligible prospects because of the compensation being offered.

The Ignite have developed several high-profile draftees over the last several years, including Scoot Henderson, Dyson Daniels and Jalen Green. Henderson went No. 3 to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2023, Daniels went No. 8 in 2022 to the New Orleans Pelicans and Green went No. 2 in 2021 to the Houston Rockets.

College athletes are not currently paid by their respective programs, but they can sign NIL deals with companies in exchange for significant compensation. For example, USC freshman Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, has an NIL valuation of $5.8 million, per

Bronny is among the 2024 draft eligible prospects, though it’s unclear if he intends to declare for the draft or spend another season at USC.

Aside from playing in college or for the Ignite, a number of the NBA’s top prospects come from overseas. For example, Frenchman and San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft, and he developed in France’s LNB Pro A.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman also has Perth Wildcats forward Alexandre Sarr, JL Bourg-en-Bresse forward Zaccharie Risacher and KK Crvena Zvezda point guard Nikola Topić being selected in the top three of his latest 2024 mock draft.

With college athletes now being able to get an education while being paid, and prospects overseas being eligible for compensation, the Ignite squad has seemingly suffered as a result.

The Ignite have gone 6-31 this season and boast the worst offensive rating (102.6 points per 100 possessions) and net rating (-12.7 points per 100 possessions) in the league, per Bontemps.

That said, it seems like the perfect time for the NBA to re-evaluate the team and search for a path forward.

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