Five-star recruit Darius Bazley to decommit from Syracuse, join G League

Five-star prospect Darius Bazley took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to state that he's skipping college and plans to play in the NBA G League.

Bazley, a 6-foot-8 forward from Ohio, is ranked No. 9 in the ESPN 100 for the 2018 class. He committed to Syracuse last June and signed with the Orange during the early signing period in November.

"This is a life-changing decision," Bazley told Yahoo! Sports earlier Thursday. "Ultimately, playing professional basketball has always been my dream. It's always going to be the dream goal, always going to be the goal until I achieve it. This is going to put me one step closer to doing so.

"The G League will have the most to offer, considering that is the development league for the NBA. I will get more out of that than going overseas. The G League is the closest thing to the NBA."

Bazley is the first five-star prospect to skip college for the G League, after several players have gone the overseas route. Like most high school players, Bazley is ineligible for the 2018 NBA draft because he's not one year removed from his graduating class. In the past, if a player was ruled ineligible for college or wanted to skip college, he generally went overseas -- like Brandon Jennings, Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrance Ferguson.

The G League has changed many of its financial rules in the past year, including the addition of two-way contracts between the NBA and G League, and guaranteed money if a player went to an NBA team camp -- but none would apply to Bazley. It also raised its salaries, although without the two-way and camp options, Bazley won't make more than $26,000 in G League earnings next season, according to the tiered salary structure of the developmental league, a source told ESPN. Having turned professional, though, Bazley is now able to receive endorsements and shoe contracts.

Bazley had 11 points and seven rebounds in the McDonald's All American Game on Wednesday.