Five-star 2020 recruit Daishen Nix backs out of playing at UCLA, will head to NBA’s G League instead


College basketball’s recruiting world took a turn on Tuesday when news broke that five-star point guard Daishen Nix has reportedly made a change of plans and will not play for UCLA. Nix will instead be heading to the G League’s Pathway Program, he confirmed to 247Sports’ Evan Daniels.

Nix, the 15th-ranked player in 2020’s class, joins fellow 2020 five-star prospects Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd in what’s become a seemingly viable alternative route to the NBA for high-end prospects who don’t want to attend college. 

CBS Sports previously profiled Nix, whose passing ability make him a fetching prospect. The Alaskan-born point guard originally committed to UCLA in August 2019. He played his high school ball in Las Vegas at Trinity International High School. Nix is a contrarian by nature: he never played grassroots — or so-called “AAU” — basketball with a team that had an affiliation with a shoe company. Instead, he starred for Simply Fundamental, an independent squad that was owned and operated by his high school coach and legal guardian, Greg Lockridge.

Nix, who had already signed with the Bruins, was the highest-rated recruit in the UCLA recruiting class, which was rated No. 42 in the nation before his defection.  

The G League’s initiative comes at a time when the NBA and the NBA Players Association have failed to meet halfway on terms that would reduce the league’s age minimum from 19 to 18 in order to allow prospects to declare for the draft directly out of high school. ESPN reported earlier this month that in absence of any resolution between those two sides, the push for the G League’s Pathway Program surfaced as a hopeful alternative. Another overlooked benefit to this for NBA teams is they get raw but highly ranked talent, at 18 and 19 years old, to be under the thumb of NBA franchise affiliates. They can have firsthand information on prospects, as opposed to more exhaustive intel through colleges, and get to do so while not having to start a player’s contract clock/invest in a contract year. 





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