The NBA D-League has transformed into the G League in 2017 and with a change in title, other nuances have bounced their way into the basketball world. Perhaps the biggest of them all is the highly anticipated addition of NBA two-way players.
A two-way player is part of both the G League team and the parent club in the NBA. By signing a two-way contract for either one year or two, a player can spend up to 45 days with the NBA team. If the player isn’t exercising part of his 45 day stay in the NBA, he will continue to develop with the G League squad.
ORLANDO, FL – OCTOBER 5: Gian Clavell #8 of the Dallas Mavericks goes to the basket against the Orlando Magic during a preseason game on October 5, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
During the 45 days where a player is on the NBA roster, he makes an NBA salary. The salary reverts back to a G League salary when he is in the minors.
G League contracts work just like most other contracts in the sense that they are guaranteed to pay out, but a player can be cut at any time. A team can then reassign one of its two two-way contracts if they are under the allotted two slots.
Historically, most G League players are called up in the second half of the season, when 10-day contracts can be signed in January. Now they can be called up and down in limitless fashion, as long as their time in the NBA doesn’t exceed 45 days.
And yes, it’s days. Not games but days. Practice days and off days count if that player is with the NBA team and thus earning an NBA salary for his time.
A two-way player is ineligible for a 10-day contract, but if he is released from his two-way deal, he can then sign a 10-day deal with any team.
Two-way contracts inevitably lessened the talent in the 2017 G League draft pool, but as Donnie Nelson told fans and media at the G League Draft watch party on Saturday, two-way deals have strengthened the G League core
Players on two-way deals would have been G League players in the past, perhaps getting called up at some point or going to play overseas. But with two-way deals, players are now guaranteed to spend time playing for the G League club and will earn more money as well in their overall contracts. Some players who would be exclusive to the NBA will now also appear in G League games.
NBA rosters, which have usually been at 15 players, now hold two extra spots for the two-way players. A total of 17 players now comprise NBA rosters.
To summarize, a player on a two-way contract:
Is on both the NBA and G League team
Can spend up to 45 days on the NBA roster, making an NBA salary doing so
Has guaranteed money, but a contract can be terminated at any time and the team can sign a new two-way player
Can not sign a 10-day contract while contracted on a two-way deal
Can be called up and sent down as many times as the organization likes, as long as his NBA tenure for the season does not exceed 45 days…
…Days –and not games– are credited to the total of 45. Practices count.
Has a reserved spot on an NBA roster, which have expanded from 15 to 17 players
The Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends will share two two-way players in 2017. The first to ink such a deal in franchise history is former Baylor Bear Johnathan Motley. Signed in August after an impressive summer, the big man comes with big potential. Following in the footsteps of former Legends Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson, Motley continues a rather impressive Baylor legacy that migrates from Waco to Frisco.
The second two-way contract from the Mavs was given to Puerto Rico native Gian Clavell just prior to the start of the NBA regular season. Clavell was the Mountain West Player of the Year for Colorado State last season and will reunite with a former Rams teammate when he and returning Legend J.J. Avila suit up together this year.
Clavell appeared in his first NBA game on Friday night against the Sacramento Kings, but his 45 day count won’t start until Monday when the G League begins training camp. Clavell entered Friday’s game in the second quarter and immediately found himself right in front of the Mavs bench for a three point attempt, which he drilled to the delight of his new teammates. The 23-year old led the club with a +/- of +13 in nine minutes of action, adding a pair of rebounds and a steal.