The 5-star recruit who skipped college basketball for the G League is now skipping the G League, too

By Ricky O’Donnell | SBNation

Darius Bazley won’t play in the G League after all. The former five-star recruit will bypass entering the G League and will instead start training for the 2019 NBA Draftaccording to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Bazley made headlines in March with his decision to renege on his commitment to Syracuse with plans of entering the G League. No NBA-caliber prospect had ever taken the G League route out of high school before, making Bazley a fascinating test case of if the league could become a viable option for top recruits who wanted to skip college.

So why is Bazley backing off his decision to play in the G League? Here’s what he told Charania:

“It’s mainly me talking to [agent] Rich [Paul], he knows so much, and whenever he speaks my ears perk up. When Miles [Bridges] was in Cleveland for his predraft workouts, whenever he got a chance to work out in front of NBA teams, I was working out in the gym, too. So that played a part in it, me playing well in those workouts for us to say there’s no upside in the G League. If you play well, it’s expected. If you don’t play well, you’re not NBA-ready. That’s what they’ll say. For me, working out and preparing is the best route.

Paul has leveraged his friendship with LeBron James to turn into one of the most powerful agents in basketball. For Bazley, being able to workout in front of NBA teams when his peers are going off to college is an incredible advantage. He’s choosing to take the “mystery man” route here, preferring to not let teams over-analyze his G League tape to instead let his own pre-draft workouts speak for themselves.

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