The G-League is the official minor league of the NBA. It is used to find and develop basketball players, coaches, medical staff, and front office personnel.
2017-2018 Champions: Austin Spurs
The NBA Developmental League had its inaugural season in 2001-2002, and it is entering its 18th season. This past year, the League added an official title sponsor, Gatorade, and rebranded as the G-League. In addition, with the NBA’s agreement with Nike, the G-League also became sponsored by Nike.
The G-League currently has 27 teams, with the Capital City Go-Go joining for the 2018-2019 season. Only Portland, Denver, and New Orleans remain with out a G-League team. Twenty-one NBA teams fully own and operate their G-League team, while five only run the front office side: Celtics, Heat, Mavericks, Pistons, and Rockets. Each team plays a 50 game schedule, running from the middle of October until toward the end of March. The G-League is set to begin shortly after the NBA rosters are set for opening day at 15 players, with players being cut from the preseason roster often joining the G-League for that season. At the end of the 2018 NBA season, 53% of players on the NBA rosters had G-League experience.
Currently, 12 teams make the G-League playoffs: the six division winners and the three teams from each conference with the highest winning percentage outside of the division winners. The top two seeds from each division get a first round bye. It is single elimination each round until the Finals, where the winner is determined in a three game series.
Who is eligible for the G-League?
Players must be 18 years old to enter the G-League. Per the NBA CBA, players must be turning 19 in the calendar year of the NBA Draft for them to declare, so the G-League welcomes younger players. Players who have three years of service in the NBA or fewer are eligible for assignment to a G-League team, while players with four years of service or fewer are eligible to sign Two-Way contracts.
Teams must carry a minimum of 10 players on their roster, with a max of 13 players including players assigned from the parent NBA teams. For any player not on NBA assignment or Two-Way, a standard contract is signed with the NBA G-League. These contracts pay $7,000 a month for the 5-month season, for a total of $35,000 not including bonuses. They are for one year terms.
Two-Way players make a base of $75,000 while in the G-League, pro-rated for the number of days in the G-League. In addition, they make the rookie minimum salary ($838,464 in 2018-2019) pro-rated for up to 45/170 days in the NBA. They hold a maximum earning potential of $385,000.
Paths to the G-League
There are nine ways to enter the NBA G-League.
Each year, the NBA G-League implements a set of experimental rules that the NBA is testing out for implementation. The rules for 2018-2019 have yet to be announced.
Played during NBA All Start Weekend, the G-League hosts an All-Star Game. Players are voted on by the G-League coaches.
During the first week of January, the NBA permits 10-day contracts to be signed. This is often when G-League players start to receive NBA call ups. NBA roster players on assignment and Two-Way players may travel back and forth between the teams before this.
Around the end of the second week of January, Two-Way contracts become guaranteed. Immediately before this, the G-League hosts a Showcase event in front of NBA personnel. Many Two-Way contracts are handed out after this event.
More G-League Information: https://gleague.nba.com/faq/