Storyline: Two-Way Contracts

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The Rockets on Saturday took the first steps toward reducing their regular-season roster to 14 players, waiving players signed to non-guaranteed contracts, and are expected to convert the contracts of impressive rookie Gary Clark and second-round pick Vincent Edwards to two-way deals, two individuals with knowledge of the moves said. The final steps, to put Edwards and Clark on two-way deals, has not been completed, but is expected in the coming days, one person with knowledge of the Rockets’ plans said.

NBA teams are allowed up to two players under two-way contracts. Those players spend the bulk of the season in the G League and a maximum of 45 days with their NBA team. Those players are paid a corresponding daily salary based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four NBA seasons of experience or less can sign two-way deals, which can be for either one or two seasons. A player has to be active for one day to get credit for a year of service. While two-way contracts generally go to young players with potential upside, some older players with overseas experience took advantage of the opportunity. C.J. Williams, who previously played in Greece, Italy, France, and the former D League, earned a two-way contract at 27 with the Clippers. “It’s a dream come true, to be honest,” Williams said. “I always wanted to play in the NBA and get an opportunity. It’s not exactly an NBA contract, but at the same time I get an opportunity, and that’s all I can ask for, and I’ve just been enjoying every moment of it, but I know my work isn’t done. I can’t be satisfied with just a two-way contract, I have to work to progress to get more.”

Former Rockets two-way guard Markel Brown, 26, used the two-way contract as an opportunity to return to the NBA. The former second-round draft pick played two seasons for the Nets before spending one season in Russia with BC Khimki. After making substantially more overseas in Russia, Brown returned to the States with the hope of making the NBA again. “On the court, I feel like for overseas there is a lot of competition depending on what league you’re in, depending on what team you go and play for, it’s a lot of competition,” Brown said. “There are a lot of guys that used to be in the NBA that are overseas now, and I think it’s great. Going overseas, being able to make some money to be able to take care of your family, but I think staying in the States and playing in the G League is also good as well. You’ve got great coaches in the G League who are constantly preparing you for their affiliate team, so I think both are great on the court. Off the court, for me, being in Russia the language, food, traveling around trying to venture out and see new things versus being in the States it’s just like being home, so I think it opens up your eyes and makes you more thankful for what you have around you.”

In addition to inconvenient travel plans on a moment’s notice, some agents worried about the physical toll their clients endured and lack of sleep as former Brooklyn Nets two-way player Milton Doyle noted. “It gets crazy sometimes just because you never know when you’re going to get the call,” Doyle said. “Somebody might get hurt or be sick or anything. You might get a call at twelve, one, or two in the morning and they tell you that you’ve got to fly out at 6:00 in the morning. The flight, just to get to the airport — especially in New York — is crazy traffic and then a flight. It just takes a toll on your body with whatever traveling you’re doing.”

Looking ahead, some agents suggested changes to improve the two-way system. Multiple agents said they want the league to eliminate multi-year, two-way deals and limit the number of two-way contracts a team can use per season. “Teams like Milwaukee and Houston had at least four different guys on them (two-way contracts) throughout the year,” one agent said. “They are not being used for ‘development’ players. They’re being used as a way to circumvent the cap and a free (no cap hit) insurance policy against injury.”

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward/center Alan Williams to a two-way contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. Williams (6’8”, 265) joins Brooklyn after three seasons (2015-18) with the Phoenix Suns. In 62 career games, he averaged 6.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per contest. During the 2017-18 season, Williams appeared in five games, averaging 4.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 14.1 minutes per game. He also appeared in three games with the Northern Arizona Suns of the NBA G League last season, averaging 16.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 23.4 minutes per game.

In the Nets press conference Tuesday, Sean Marks said Theo Pinson, the 6’7” swingman out of North Carolina, will likely fill the Brooklyn’s second two-way slot, joining the recently signed Alan Williams. Asked if the Nets had someone in mind for the two-way deal, Marks did everything but confirm Pinson is his guy. “I think we do. It’s staying flexible throughout the year; we’ll see what happens. We do have a guy in mind,” said the Nets GM. “Theo Pinson is gonna be our two-way guy. It hasn’t been out there yet; it probably shouldn’t be.
4 months ago via ESPN

Bobby Marks, ESPN: The Hamidou Diallo (Oklahoma City) and Khyri Thomas (Detroit) signings now have 17 players selected in the second round of the June Draft under contract. Each of the second round picks have at a minimum of three years on their contract except for Jevon Carter (Memphis). The point guard was restricted to only two years because Memphis had signed Kyle Anderson to the full midlevel exception. The top three players with the most guaranteed money are Rodions Kurucs ($4.8M), Jalen Brunson ($4.3M) and Gary Trent Jr. ($3.9M). In addition, the last three players selected in the second round, Thomas Welsh, George King and Kostas Antetokounmpo were signed to Two-Way Contracts.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard Naz Mitrou-Long (me-TRUE) to a two-way contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. Mitrou-Long (6-4, 218, Iowa State) originally signed a two-way deal with Utah last season on Dec. 23, as well as a two 10-day contracts on Feb. 11 and Feb. 24. He appeared in one game for the Jazz, tallying three points against Denver on Dec. 26. Mitrou-Long also appeared in 40 games (35 starts) for the team’s G League affiliate the Salt Lake City Stars, averaging 18.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 35.0 minutes per game. The 24-year-old totaled 17 games with 20-plus points and four games with 30-plus points, including a Stars-record 37 points on 9-of-15 from three on March 19 against Rio Grande Valley.

Mitrou-Long has been staying in the same Salt Lake City apartment with Niang this offseason and considers the area as his second home. Returning to Utah, especially with his close friend Niang, is what he’s been working so hard for this off-season. “I’m just happy that the Jazz were so patient with me and kept contributing to the fact that they wanted to see me grow and they invested their time, their money and their knowledge into making me a better player and kept me around because they knew I had a chance to maybe seal this thing up,” Mitrou-Long said. “I’m happy I stuck around and I’m happy they kept me around for it. I feel blessed right now. I feel really good.”

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today the team has signed guard J.P. Macura to a two-way contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Macura, an undrafted free agent from Xavier University, recorded averages of 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals in 34 games as a senior in 2017-18. The Lakeville, Minnesota, native ranked second on the squad in scoring and assists and third in rebounds per game as a senior. He ranked sixth in the Big East in steals, 11th in free-throw percentage (.821) and 14th in assists. Macura finished his college career ranked ninth on Xavier’s all-time leaderboard in free-throw percentage (.798), tenth in steals (166) and 19th in scoring (1,491).
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