Duke basketball commit heard he could earn six figures in college

Will Paolo Banchero earn more than $100K as a Duke basketball one-and-done?

We know that members of the 2021 class are set to become the first in history with a green light — no, make that a yellow light — to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL) as student-athletes. What we don’t know are the details as to how this monumental landscape change will shake out, specifically for Duke basketball and other bluebloods dwelling in the limelight.

Judging by some recent comments from the No. 2 and No. 3 prospects on the 247Sports 2021 Composite in undecided Chet Holmgren and Duke pledge Paolo Banchero, the prized recruits themselves are about as clueless as fans and media when it comes to their potential collegiate earnings.

Even so, during Stadium insider Jeff Goodman’s latest Good N’ Plenty Podcast, Holmgren and Banchero spoke at length about the topic. First, here’s what Holmgren noted from his chats with recruiters:

“I’ve had conversations with multiple coaches about it, but I mean, they are almost as in the dark as we are because nobody really has any rules set for it, so nobody really knows. But the general idea…the bigger the brand of the school, the bigger the endorsements end up being.”

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Banchero agreed that the unknowns far outnumber the specifics (the NCAA reported in August that the Division I council looks to introduce finalized NIL legislation by Nov. 1 and then hold a final vote at the NCAA Convention in January). But the five-star power forward did disclose what he’s heard in regards to how much moola he might rake in during his likely one-and-done campaign:

“Through the recruiting process, I’ve had coaches tell me I could have six figures in my account by the time I leave — and stuff like that. I just don’t know how true that is. I mean, maybe, that’d be great if that is possible.”

No guaranteed check could lure the Duke basketball pledge elsewhere, right?

Granted, $100K or so would pale in comparison to the roughly $500K one-year contracts that the G League has inked with a few of their five-star peers. However, while Holmgren left a 0.1 percent chance that he could still choose this alternate pre-NBA route now available to select preps, Banchero made 100 percent clear where he’ll be for the 2021-22 season:

“I’m committed. I’m locked in…For me, I grew up watching college basketball, so it’s always been a dream to play on Super Tuesday and all that stuff. And then on top of that, we’ll be able to make some money.”

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his crew have also reeled in a pledge from five-star small forward AJ Griffin (sits No. 6 on the composite). Plus, they remain in pursuit of four more high school seniors, all top 25 five-stars: shooting guard Trevor Keels (No. 16), small forward Caleb Houstan (No. 8), small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. (No. 1), and center Charles Bediako (No. 23).

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting news and views.