Two-Way Contracts and the New Orleans Pelicans

Published: June 23, 2017

The NBA Draft is over, but the New Orleans Pelicans will still be working to acquire guys from the draft class. Just not players picked in rounds one or two. With each team having the option to sign two players to a two-way contract undrafted free agents become just as intriguing as guys selected in the second round.

How do two-way contracts work?

Each NBA team has a pair of two-way contracts with which they can sign players with less than four years of experience. These players will spend the majority of time in the G(D)-League but can also play with their parent NBA team for up to 45 days. These players will make a base salary of $75,000 for playing in the G-League, which is more than double the standard salary in the NBA’s lower league. They can earn additional money based on their time in the NBA with max potential somewhere around $275,000. That’s not too bad for a G-Leaguer.

What this means for the Pelicans?

Expect them to be very busy on the undrafted free agent front as most of the NBA will as well. It may be an unofficial third round. These two-way contracts, in addition to the developmental potential of a player, will be very useful when it comes to replacing injured players. Instead of signing someone to a ten day contract just to have a body on the bench, the Pelicans can call up one of their own guys and get him a bit of seasoning. While retaining his rights when the player he is replacing comes back from injury.

Also, consider the new Pelicans owned G-League team that will be introduced after next season. If the Pelicans sign someone to a two-way contract, he sees some NBA time as an injury replacement, that is an excellent face to start promoting the franchise around. Just an additional, small, added benefit.

All the above is a bit of a simplistic summation of the different moving parts when it comes to a two-way contract, but is a good primer. Now, as for what happens? Well, we just have to wait and find out.

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