Darren Collison says Jalen Green is a 'franchise-changing player' in 2021 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / September 20.
  • Darren Collison says Jalen Green is a ‘franchise-changing player’ in 2021

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    While all the focus in the NBA Draft world is on Thursday’s Draft Lottery for 2020, the 2021 draft may actually have more star power.

    One player who could go No. 1 a year from now is Jalen Green, the 6-foot-5 guard out of Prolific Prep (CA) who opted to forego college and sign with the NBA G League Select team.

    Former NBA and UCLA guard Darren Collison has been working out with Green in his native California and proclaimed him a future star.

    “He’s a franchise-changing player,” Collison said. “He’s a great kid who only wants to get better. His work ethic is through the roof. What I love about Jalen is he’s extremely humble for his stature

    “He reminds me a lot of Paul George.”

    Three projected lottery picks in 2021 per ESPN.com are now with the G League Select, No. 2 Green, No. 4 Jonathan Kuminga and No. 12 Daishen Nix.

    Another player with a big upside on that team is 7-foot-2 Kai Sotto, a native of the Philippines.

    “I think Kai, with a lot of bigs in the NBA, has the ability to play like [Nikola] Jokic,” G League coach Brian Shaw, a three-time NBA champion, said Sunday in a Zoom call with reporters.

    “Based on the film I saw, he can shoot outside. He can be a facilitator where you can put him on top of the floor and do dribble hand-offs just like Jokic.”

    Despite forgoing college, all of the G League players will have the option of earning their college degrees through a program at Arizona State.

    “When they come through our program and they do make it to the NBA, we’ll still pay for them for four years of college through a program in Arizona State if they every wanna finish their education,” Shaw said. “So that’s what a lot of people don’t know.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.