Bazley's route is an unorthodox one, as many players that choose to bypass their mandatory college years tend to go overseas to play. LiAngelo Ball left UCLA before declaring for this year's draft, and Brandon Jennings, Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrance Ferguson all chose the overseas route before becoming first-round NBA Draft picks.
However, Bazley, a 6-9 small forward from Cincinnati, thinks that his best opportunity will be in the league closest to the NBA.
"The G League will have the most to offer, considering that is the development league for the NBA," Bazley told Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania. "I will get more out of that than going overseas. The G League is the closest thing to the NBA. I see most guys now are spending time in the G League even after they went to school and the draft, so this gives me the chance to accelerate the process. There have been a lot of successful guys who have been brought up in the G League, and I'm confident that I will be one of them."
The decision is unusual but not unprecedented. Latavious Williams became the first player to ever join the then-NBA Development League out of high school in 2009. He played for the Tulsa 66ers before being drafted by the Heat in 2010, but he never played an NBA game.
Bazley will almost certainly follow a different route, but the important thing is that this is another avenue for players looking to circumvent the one-and-done rule. As of now, of course, Americans must be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school graduation to play in the NBA, although Adam Silver has. The one year of college mandate has also . While it seems unlikely most players will follow in Bazley's footsteps, it's an interesting direction to turn nonetheless.