What does a two way contract mean in the NBA?

By Usha Shrestha / 2 July 2023 02:55 PM

Jay Huff signed a two-way agreement with the Washington Wizards on March 2, 2022
Source : twitter

What does a two way contract mean in the NBA? Answer: A two way contract means the new settlement option that lets the developing athletes play on an NBA club and its minor league affiliate.

The settlement idea was introduced in the 2017-2018 season. The motive was to benefit the undrafted player who couldn't cut the NBA Draft.

Moreover, a team can have the player they want as their associate without signing a full-time agreement.

Every 30 clubs of the association are allowed to have two players under such an agreement, and it valids for up to a maximum of two seasons. That player can then play for both leagues.

For instance, if a player pens the deal with Chicago Bulls, he can play for the Windy City Bulls, following the time split condition. One can only play through 50 games in a season with the professional team.

What Is A Two Way Deal In The NBA?

In the NBA, a two-way deal is a contract that lets the athletes be rostered both on the National Basketball Association club and its G League affiliate.

The contract is designed for the developing athletes whom a club prefers to keep as associates without having to sign a full-time agreement. According to the association, each team can have two players with such an agreement each season.

The players who have performed in the league for three or fewer years are qualified to sign the two-way agreement. It's up to the team to decide whether the deal lasts for one or two seasons.

The players who agreed to the deal can play in the league and their minor league (G League) affiliates. Not all teams have affiliates.

For instance, the Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers don't have any partner clubs. In such a situation, these clubs let the athletes perform with other teams' affiliates. 

NBA Athletes Under Two-Way Contracts

The followings are the scorers for the 2022-2023 season, who have agreed on the contract as of March 2023. Along with the players and the league clubs, the G League affiliate clubs are also listed:

Atlantic Divison

Boston Celtics/ Maine Celtics

  • JD Davison 
  • Mfiondu Kabengele

Brooklyn Nets/ Long Island Nets

  • Dru Smith 
  • David Duke Jr.

New York Knicks/ Westchester Knicks

  • Trevor Keels
  • Duane Washington Jr.

Philadelphia 76ers/ Delaware Blue Coats

  • Louis King
  • Mac McClung

Toronto Raptors/ Raptors 905

  • Jeff Dowtin Jr.
  • Ron Harper Jr.

Central Division

Chicago Bulls/ Windy City Bulls

  • Justin Lewis
  • Terry Taylor

Cleveland Cavaliers/ Cleveland Charge

  • Mamadi Diakite
  • Isaiah Mobley

Detroit Pistons/ Motor City Cruise

  • Buddy Boeheim
  • Jared Rhoden

Milwaukee Bucks/ Wisconsin Herd

  • AJ Green
  • Lindell Wigginton

Indiana Pacers/ Fort Wayne Mad Ants

  • Kendall Brown 
  • Trevelin Queen

Southeast Divison

Charlottes Hornets/ Greensboro Swarm

  • Theo Maledon

Atlanta Hawks/College Park Skyhawks

  • Trent Forest
  • Donovan Williams

Miami Heat/ Sioux Falls Skyforce

  • Jamal Cain
  • Orlando Robinson

Orlando Magic/ Lakeland Magic

  • Kevon Harris

Washington Wizards/ Capital City Go-Go

  • Jay Huff
  • Quenton Jackson

Northeast Division

Denver Nuggets/ Grand Rapids Gold

  • Collin Gillespie
  • Jack White

Minnesota Timberwolves/ Iowa Wolves

  • Luke Garza
  • Matt Ryan

Oklahoma City Thunder/ Oklahoma City Blue

  • Jared Butler
  • Olivier Sarr

Portland Trail Blazers

  • Ibou Badji
  • John Butler

Utah Jazz/ Salt Lake City

  • Johnny Juzang
  • Micah Potter

Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors/ Santa Cruz Warriors

  • Ty Jerome 
  • Lester Quinones

Los Angeles Clippers/ Ontario Clippers

  • Moussa Diabate
  • Xavier Moon

Los Angeles Lakers/ South Bay Lakers

  • Scottie Pippen Jr. 
  • Cole Swider

Phoenix Suns

  • Saben Lee

Sacramento Kings

  • Keon Ellis
  • Neemias Queta

Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks/ Texas Legends

  • A.J. Lawson
  • McKinley Wright IV

Houston Rockets/ Rio Grande Valley Vipers

  • Darius Days
  • Trevor Hudgins

Memphis Grizzlies/ Memphis Hustle

  • Kenneth Lofton Jr.
  • Vince Williams Jr.

New Orleans Pelicans/ Birmingham Squadron

  • EJ Liddell
  • Dereon Seaborn

San Antonio Spurs/ Austin Spurs

  • Dominick Barlow
  • Julian Champagnie

How Much Is A Two Way Contract In The NBA?

A Two Way contract in the NBA is worth up to four hundred thousand dollars. It expires in a year and can extend for an additional one-year limit.

The stipend of such a settlement varies in comparison to the one-way deal. The athlete gets the same payment regardless of where is allocated to play.

Austin had signed two-way deal with the Lakers in August 2021 that was converted into standard in September
Source : twitter

In the case of the two-part agreement, a player gets paid based on the salary rate of the league he performed for.

The amount for such players was increased from $81 thousand to roughly $449 thousand for the 2020-2021 season. Along with that, the amount of time allowed in the professional league rose to 50 games from a total of 45 days.

NBA Two Way Contract Salary

NBA two-way contract salary is $449,155. It was around $81,955 during the 2017-2018 season.

Under the settlement, the player's wage depends on the league in which he is assigned to play. He gets a higher payment than a typical G League player.

In the inception year, athletes made around $75,000 in the G League and roughly $204,000 after 45 days on the NBA roster. Each year the amount increased and reached a minimum of around four hundred thousand dollars annually.

The remuneration of two-way athletes is not included in the salary cap calculation of a team.

Likewise, the franchise can convert such a deal to a standard NBA agreement at any time. In such a sitautaion, the athlete gets minimum wage for his service year.

Two Way Contract Rules

Two way contract rules have been modified compared to those during the inception of the contract idea. Changes related to time split has also been introduced.

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 season, the players under the multilateral agreement were allowed to spend a maximum of 45 days with their National Basketball Association club. However, that is not the situation anymore.

NBA G League tweeted updates on two-way contract during its inception year
Source : twitter

From the 2020-2021 season, two-way players are permitted to play up to 50 games. Rest of their days in the season, they need to play with the G league teams.

Here are some of the modified rules related to the two-way contract:

  • Each NBA team can have up to two players under the agreement.
  • Players who have completed a maximum of three seasons of league service are qualified for such a deal.
  • Each treaty is valid for one season and a maximum of upto two.
  • Players under the commitment can play 50 games with the NBA team and the rest of the season in the G League affiliates.
  • Such players are allowed to participate in the Playoffs ( At first, they were not eligible, yet the regulation changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.) 

Is Exhibit 10 Contract And Two Way Contract Similar?

Yes, Exhibit 10 contract and two way contract are similar in some aspects. However, they share some different attributes.

Both the deals involve the G league. And both are available for undrafted free agents. Exhibit 10 was also introduced in 2017 and is related to another settlement.

The two-way commitment lets the player play in the professional and the minor league. On the other hand, an Exhibit 10 contract is a one-year minimum salary deal.

The franchise can convert their one-year deal into a two-way one or longer-term arrangement. However, they need to make the changes before the regular season starts.

It is an add-on to standard professional agreements, allowing for additional provisions related to the G league assignments and incentives.

Also, it serves a non-guaranteed commitment for the minimum NBA remuneration with no bonuses except for the one under the deal of five to fifty thousand dollars.

Each professional basketball team has a limit of six such contracts at any given time.

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