With the amount of COVID-19 and injury absences this year, the league is unpredictable as ever. Teams have played games that they barely had enough players for. One solution is removing the limit of active games on two-way contract players. Shams Charania reported that the NBA and NBPA agreed to remove the 50 game limit on two-way players.
What this does is allow teams to call-up two-way players whenever they need to. Charania also added that once these two-way players exceed 50 games, their salary is bumped up to the minimum.
There was “massive support among NBA executives” during a meeting today about expanding the rule.
This additional flexibility will allow teams to make up for missing players. Another possible benefit is that two-way players could get a more extended opportunity to prove themselves in the NBA.
Two-Way Players to Keep an Eye On
The league has already seen some two-way players making an impact this year. One of the most impactful two-way players is Juan Toscano-Anderson on the Golden State Warriors. He’s a staple in their rotation. Toscano-Anderson brings versatility on both ends. He can move his feet and defend the rim. On offense, he can handle the ball a bit and shoot the three.
The Miami Heat have given Max Strus and Gabe Vincent a lot of minutes this year for two-way players. The Heat have dealt with numerous injuries after their short-turnaround from the Bubble. Those two have filled in the gaps.
Strus is a pure shooter similar to Duncan Robinson. Vincent also is an outstanding shooter and can operate out of the pick and roll a bit. Both of them look like rotational pieces on an NBA roster.
Jordan McLaughlin on the Timberwolves has played the backup point guard role. He’s a steady hand that probably should’ve gotten a full NBA contract this past offseason.
Yuta Watanabe on the Toronto Raptors made headlines recently.
Despite that poster, he’s cracked the rotation with the Raptors. He’s a lanky wing that can shoot the ball and is a strong rebounder.
With so much new talent coming into the league, two-way contracts allow players to get meaningful game time. Younger players can develop and show their improvements on the main roster. For teams, this level of flexibility will improve depth on any given night.