American basketball reporter Shams reported that Chinese teenager Zeng Fanbo will give up joining Gonzaga University and decided to join the NBA Development League. Zeng Fanbo wrote today that it is a well-thought decision to go to the Development League and it is incumbent to play for Shougang in the future.
The latest news is that Shougang has no prior knowledge of Zeng Fanbo’s choice, which also adds some subtle changes to Zeng Fanbo’s future path in the future. The 18-year-old Zeng Fanbo is the future of Chinese basketball and the closest Chinese to the NBA. In 2017, Zeng Fanbo went to the United States as a student of the Beijing Shougang Young Eagle Program. He succeeded in high school in the United States and received an invitation from Gonzaga University, promising to join. But in the past two days, Zeng Fanbo first hired a professional agent, and then stated that he decided not to go to Gonzaga University (the NCAA has strict regulations on professional agents for players), but to join the NBA Development League’s Ignite Team. Why did Zeng Fanbo choose the Development Alliance? There are two main reasons why Zeng Fanbo joined the Development Alliance. One is the departure of Gonzaga University assistant coach Tommy Lloyd. In the previous process of Gonzaga recruiting Zeng Fanbo, Lloyd played a very important role. But just this month, Lloyd, who has served at Gonzaga University since the 2001-02 season, ended his 20-year coaching career at Gonzaga University and became the new coach of the University of Arizona. Losing Lloyd this year is considered a huge loss for Gonzaga University, because Lloyd’s understanding of the European League and foreign players and personal connections is unmatched in the entire American college basketball world. Gonzaga is the NCAA team with the most international players in recent years and has always maintained its competitiveness. Lloyd is the biggest contributor. In the past 2020-21 season, Gonzaga has 4 international players, namely Matinas Allauskas from Lithuania, Joel Ayai from France, and Ao Mali from France. Mar Barlow, Russia’s Pavel Zakharov. In the previous seasons, Lloyd has helped Gonzaga recruit international players such as Hachimura, Brandon Clark, Sabonis, Olynik and Thackeray, and helped them successfully enter the NBA. . Lloyd’s scouting network covers all continents, which is why he found Zeng Fanbo and successfully recruited. Coach Lloyd’s departure brought a chain reaction. Mali center Omar Barlow, who was recruited by him, chose to continue to follow his mentor and transferred to Arizona; Zeng Fanbo also chose not to go to Gonzaga. Second, after joining the Development League, Zeng Fanbo was able to immediately get more playing time than at Gonzaga University. According to domestic media reports, the Development League Ignite Team showed great sincerity in this invitation and made promises on the issues that Zeng Fanbo and his family worry most, such as playing time and training environment. Gonzaga has learned to choose the strongest lineup to form a rotation. For those young players who are unfamiliar in technology and not strong enough, the team will choose to formulate a long-term training plan for them, and wait until their stadium performance and competition. After the tactical comprehension ability is mature, put it into the main lineup. Before Hachimura entered the NBA, he averaged only 4.6 minutes per game in his first season at Gonzaga University. He was also a substitute in his sophomore year and did not become a core player until his junior year. NBA lottery picks as strong as Sabonis Jr. and Zach Collins also played on the bench in Gonzaga’s first season. Obviously, Zeng Fanbo is unable to reach the level of Sa and Collins. Born in 2003 will be one of Gonzaga’s youngest players next season. He will definitely not be part of the team’s game plan for next season. The level of all aspects still needs to be improved, so the team may choose to take it slowly as it did to cultivate Hachimura a few years ago. What is the status of the young people who enter the development alliance? Since 2008, because some players do not want to play for the NCAA “for free”, the NBA Development League has become one of the channels for high school, college, and international players to enter the NBA. The most obvious benefit of the Development League is salary. Compared to the free NCAA, players in the Development League can receive a fairly good income. In October 2018, the Development League formulated a “choice contract” worth $125,000. Attracting elite-level high school students to join. At that time, Darius Bezley, Ramello Bauer and RJ Hampton all considered joining the Development League, but in the end Bezley regretted it after promising, three goals and a tie. Hampton went to the Australian League NBL. By last year, the Development League had simply established the Ignite team that belongs to no NBA team. The Ignite team has therefore become the exclusive development channel for young players to the NBA, and as their development project for potential players with NBA-level talents. In part, the Ignite team’s salary has been increased to a maximum of $500,000, which has reached the NBA’s basic salary level. Started to “grab people” with the NCAA college teams. Jaylen Green, the No. 1 high school student in the class of 2020 in the United States, was the first to announce his joining the Ignite team. His choice made history. Subsequently, the other three 5-star high school students Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd, Deshan Knicks, and two other international players like Zeng Fanbo, Prince Parr Singh (India), Kay- Soto (Philippines) also announced their accession. As the first batch of “experimental products” in the Ignite team plan, although the performance of the four 5-star high school students is unsatisfactory, their current draft picks have fallen to varying degrees compared to their high school rankings-Green on ESPN High school students in the United States ranked No. 1, and the current draft is ranked No. 4; Cuminga High School is No. 4 and now No. 5; Todd High School is No. 15 and now No. 51; Knicks High School is No. 21 and now No. 61. The other two international players have no draft prospects. Indian insider Singh played only 4 regular season games in the Development League in one season, averaging 6.3 minutes per game and 2 minutes in the playoffs; Philippine center Soto did not play directly and signed this year. The Adelaide 36-man team of the Australian NBL is ready to spend another year to hit the NBA. It can be seen that the Ignition Plan of the Development League actually did not achieve the desired effect. For example, Todd and the Knicks have lost their worth in the Development League, and now they can only enter the NBA as a marginal player. The Ignite team did not attract too much attention, and the exposure was not as good as NCAA. Is this a good choice? Everything has two sides, and the same is true for Zeng Fanbo’s choice this time. On the bright side, Zeng Fanbo got the promise of playing time, which means he can get more opportunities in the coming year. Because he may only get single-digit playing time in Gonzaga, and even sit on the bench for a whole year-Gonzaga’s core insider, next year’s junior Drew Timmy may test the waters after the draft. Choosing to return to school, by then, Chet Holmgreen, the first high school student in the 2021 class of America, will also enroll, and these two will occupy the absolute main position of the team. The draft expert Sam Vecenie of The Athletic website believes that Zeng Fanbo has too many competitors at the same position in Gonzaga. In addition to the above two, there are Anton Watson (third year), Ben Gregg (second year), Zhu Lean Strausser (sophomore) and Carden Perry (freshman) are likely to be ahead of Zeng Fanbo in the order of rotation. Getting a certain playing time means that Zeng Fanbo can have more opportunities to stand in the spotlight, which can help him quickly improve his reputation within a year and accumulate some professional game experience. But playing time commitments are not necessarily counted. If you do not perform well and fail to meet the requirements, the coach can’t force you to give you time to level up. Zeng Fanbo still needs to rely on his performance to buy more time. If Zeng Fanbo performed well enough in this year, then he may join the NBA through the draft or signing a two-way contract. To some extent, joining the Development League accelerated Zeng Fanbo’s speed in touching the NBA and his own potential ceiling. However, the Ignite Plan of the Development League is more like a springboard for those super geniuses who have participated in the draft within a year even after entering college. They don’t seem to be good at solving problems about player development. In the past season, although the first high school student Jaylen Green has shown amazing talent, after a year of training in the Development League, he still maintains the “trembling style” of high school (the highlights are good-looking, flashy, Low tactical literacy). As for Zeng Fanbo, who is 2 meters 06 and weighs 86 kilograms, it seems that his skills and body still need to be polished for a long time to adapt to the level of professional competition. Suppose he chooses to join Gonzaga University, maybe he will not be able to enter the public eye in a short time, but he will have three or four years to stay in the United States to improve himself. He has the opportunity to grow from rough technology to gradually cultivated like Hachimura. Solid basic skills and understanding of the game. But now, the time left for Zeng Fanbo may only be the next year. Therefore, this does not seem to be a good choice. Although at present, there will not be as many newcomers on the Ignite team next year as this year. So far only one 5-star high school student, Michael Foster (7th on ESPN, the same age as Zeng Fanbo) has decided to join, but Zeng Fanbo The competition is still not small-Foster and Zeng Fanbo play the same position, in addition to the 37-year-old Jarrett Jack and 36-year-old Bobby Brown in the development league. Old fried dough sticks to eat. Among the opponents Zeng Fanbo will face, there will be young players like Kevin Porter and Jordan Poole who will develop the league to fight monsters and upgrades, and there will also be many players like Jeremy Lin who are struggling for NBA opportunities. The weak and the strong in the development alliance are much more cruel than the universities. Next season, if Zeng Fanbo’s performance in the Development League falls short of expectations, his trip to the United States may end here. At that time, the choice left to him may only be CBA.