Daishen Nix became the third high school prospect to agree to enter the G League’s professional pathway program, agreeing to turn pro instead of attending UCLA for what would presumably be a one-and-done season.
Nix is a five-star point guard that played his high school ball in Las Vegas after growing up in Alaska. At 6-foot-5, he is an elite passer with a high basketball IQ that projects as a potential first round pick. He was the crown jewel of Mick Cronin’s first recruiting class at UCLA.
The news was first reported by Bobby Reagan, co-host of the College Basketball Talk podcast.
Nix committed to the Bruins last August and signed a letter of intent with the program on Nov. 13th, but he will not make it to the Westwood campus. Instead, Nix joins Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd as members of the inaugural G League select team, which amounts an NBA Academy of sorts. Green signed a deal that can be worth in excess of $500,000, while Todd’s deal is reportedly about half of that. Greg Brown, another five-star prospect, picked Texas over the G League’s professional pathway program last week, turning down an offer that was reportedly more than $300,000.
The players in this program will not be playing as full-time members of a G League team. Instead, they will be getting on-and-off the court training and professional coaching from actual NBA staffers. They will have a chance to scrimmage G League teams as well as other NBA academy programs from around the world. The goal is not to force these high school graduates into competing against professionals but to instead help them learn what it takes to be a professional basketball player, on and off the court.
This loss is a massive blow to UCLA heading into next season. They were projected as a top 15 team with Nix on the roster. They should still be competitive atop the Pac-12 without him, especially if Chris Smith opts to return to school instead of staying in the NBA draft, but this significantly lowers their ceiling.