NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger is confident the NBA's big-money play to keep their best high school talent on home soil won't shoot down his Next Stars program.
Likely 2021 No. 1 NBA draft pick Jalen Green opted to bypass the United States college system and Australia's fledgling Next Stars program when announcing his decision to join the second-tier G League on Friday (AEST).
It's a unique route enabled by the G League's decision to increase payments for elite prospects from $US125,000 to a reported $US500,000 ($A792,900) and provide an academy-like program that varies from the traditional structure.
It's understood Green and fellow Next Stars target Isaiah Todd will both feature in a G League special team that will play a reduced schedule of about 20 exhibition games against fellow G League teams, foreign national teams and NBA academies.
While fears of travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus meant a move to Australia was unrealistic, their decisions could be viewed as a blow to a league that attracted LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton and Didi Louzada last season.
G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim singled out the NBL as a force to be reckoned with when describing Green's decision as a coup for his league, while NBA chief Adam Silver admitted last year he was "a little jealous" of the Next Stars program.
It's a compliment of sorts for the NBL, but Loeliger insists the two can co-exist and he doesn't see it as an NBA offensive.
"I don't see it as an attempt to scupper Next Stars, I see it as an alternative," he told AAP.
"It's also very different to our program, which places an emphasis on these young players being immersed in a professional team environment for the duration of a season to give them a real sense of the transition from amateur to full-time professional.
"It's not an academy environment - it's a real-world experience and you have a chance to compete for a pro league championship."
The NBL has already lured Australian NBA hopefuls Josh Giddey (Adelaide) and Mojave King (Cairns) for next season.
Loeliger expects more to follow once travel restrictions are eased because they have seen how projected top 2020 draft picks Ball and Hampton improved while in Australia.
"We give young men the opportunity to test themselves outside of their comfort zone," he said
"That doesn't mean we're a better route for every player, but for some, there will be no doubt that their best prospect to demonstrate their wares is by playing in the real world."
"There may be some overlap, but there are plenty of players out there looking for an alternative to college basketball, and this is just another avenue to accommodate some of them."