Darius Bazley is about to become probably the most highly paid intern in history, all thanks to his new deal with New Balance.
According to The New York Times, Bazley will be interning at New Balance from January through March (during the hight of college basketball season) and will earn $1 million as part of a deal that was arranged by his manager, Rich Paul.
“The internship, to be precise, is folded into a handsome shoe contract Bazley, 18, has landed with New Balance on the lure of his pro potential. According to Paul, Bazley’s multiyear deal will pay him $1 million ‘no matter what happens with his NBA career–and can pay up to $14 million if he reaches all performance incentives.”
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 22, 2018
Skipping the G League
This comes after Bazley decided to skip playing ball in the G League for a year and pass up on a full ride scholarship to Syracuse to play one season there. The G League has been created for players who don’t intend to play college basketball but are unable to go straight to the NBA from high school due to NBA’s rules. The G League path would have earned Bazley $125, 000. The League is also intended to give young players experience and time on the court.
“There will be some things he misses out on, but I’m not worried at all–not with the talent and skill set he has,” Paul said. “No matter what we do this year, he still has to be developed in the NBA. You see it even with the highest draft picks–it’s not like you come into the league as a rookie and set the league on fire.”
Bazley could be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA draft, but his deal with New Balance makes sure that he is still compensated well regardless of what happens then.