10-Day: Looking back at the inaugural two-way deals in the G-League

(Photo by: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Welcome back to another part of 10-Day, a place for any G-League related content. A while back, I looked at the best 10-day contracts from the 2017-2018 NBA season. Today, let’s take a look at something that was added last season in the minors, the two-year deal. Here is a quick breakdown of how the two-way deal works.

  • The NBA roster expands from the standard 15 to 17, with the last two spots for two-way players.
  • While paying in the G-League, players can spend up to 45 days on their parent NBA team.
  • Players with four years or under are eligible to sign two-way contacts.
  • Once the 45 days are up, the player’s contract must be spent in the G-League, either for the team’s affiliate (or another G-League team if the NBA team does not have a direct affiliate.
  • The team can convert the player’s contract to full-time NBA deal, which results in releasing a player on the current 15 man roster to make room.
  • If a player spends the full 45 days in the NBA, he could make around $204,000, depending on the deal.
  • While in the G-League, the player will make $75,000.
  • Overall, a two-way player who spends the maximum amount of time in the NBA would make around $279,000, the G-League salary included.

For players in the G-League, this is an excellent way for players to have sort of a “mini tryout” with their team in hopes to keep their dream alive.

This also works for the G-League as a whole. Players were are talented enough will stay in the minors and convince them to stay in the States as opposed to finding a deal overseas.

This past season, we saw close to 60 players sign two-way deals. The question to look at now is; Will we see two-way deals become more valuable for future seasons?

Like I said earlier, this is a good way for players to have a chance to make a team. Despite not having a guaranteed spot in the NBA, having these contracts give them a significant advantage to make a ballclub as opposed to someone in the G-League.

Credit: NBA Getty Images

Take Lorenzo Brown for example. Brown has been bouncing around the league for a few years before signing a two-way deal with the Toronto Raptors. He spent a majority of this year with the Raptors 905 and being named the 2018 G-League MVP. His hard work earned him a full contract with the Raptors and signed with the team this past offseason. Brown will look to compete in the backcourt rotation.

Quinn Cook is another example of a successful two-way deal to a full-time NBA player. Cook signed a two-way deal back in October 2017. His impressive play earned him a full-time contract and became a key contributor off the bench for the Warriors 2018 Championship run. Cook will look to improve upon his success in season two with Golden State.


As of August 9, 2017, 46 of the 60 spots have been filled for players under two-way contracts. 10 players last year had their two-way contracts converted to standard contracts so we will most likely see the number improve for the 2018-2019 NBA season.

Here is a list of the confirmed players so far signed to NBA Two-Way Contracts (Credit to 2ways10days.com for the complete list so far):

These are the playing heading into training camp under the Two-Way umbrella. These players range from undrafted players, overseas/G-League veterans with little NBA experience and some late 2nd round selections from this past draft. As like last year, the list is never final. Teams can make changes throughout the year to see who fits in their system and who does not.

Two-way deals are perfect for players looking to make a name for themselves in the NBA. There is no downside to these since the salaries earned do not count toward the NBA club’s salary cap. It also gives the team a chance to keep a close watch on a potential future contributor for their team. We’ve seen in work last season, so there is no doubt it will be another successful season with this.


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