As part of the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was ratified back in December, teams will be given two additional roster spots for this upcoming season. Under the old agreement, teams could carry no more than 15 players. They will now be able to carry up to 17 players, with a few limitations.
These new two-way contracts are designated for players who will spend time between the NBA parent team, and its G-League affiliate. Players will be paid a higher salary than standard G-League contracts, and these roster spots will not count against the NBA team’s salary cap. Two-way players are also not eligible for the playoffs.
One of the first players to sign a two-way contract this summer was Josh Magette, who signed with the Atlanta Hawks. He played at the Division II University of Alabama-Huntsville, graduating in 2012 and going undrafted. He has spent the past several years playing overseas and with the Los Angeles D-Fenders (now South Bay Lakers) of the G-League.
“I’m excited, it’s a great opportunity,” Magette told Basketball Insiders. “Hopefully I’ll get into some NBA games and on the court. I’m very excited for it.”
Although he’s finally reached his ultimate goal of the NBA, he will still spend a majority of his time with the Erie BayHawks, Atlanta’s affiliate. As part of the agreement, players on two-way contracts are allowed a maximum of 45 days with the NBA parent team.
Having played in the D-League for a majority of his professional career, it’s not something that he’s particularly worried about.
“Being in the D-League the past couple of years, I’m very comfortable down there, I know what to expect,” Magette told Basketball Insiders. “That’s the thing about being there, you’re always one step away and with a two-way contract, you’re one step closer. I’m excited and hopefully, I get some experience.”
The Hawks and Magette are no strangers to one another. He spent training camp with them this past year and was their final roster cut heading into the start of the season. He also played with the Hawks team in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Magette started all five of the Hawks games in Vegas and led the team in assists along with second-year guard DeAndre’ Bembry at 3.2 apiece.
“It was a great time. We had a great group of guys. I thought we could’ve gone a little further in the tournament,” Magette told Basketball Insiders of his time in Vegas. “But it was a great experience just being back with Atlanta after training camp and just kind of getting my feet wet again.”
Last season with the D-Fenders, Magette flourished. He averaged 15.8 points per game while shooting 35.2 percent from the three-point line. He led the league in assists per game with 9.3. Once the playoffs rolled around, he upped his averages to 19 points on 50 percent shooting, 47.6 percent from three-point range, and 10.7 assists.
His playmaking, in particular, is something that he believes will enable him to possibly see the floor during the regular season. As of now, the Hawks already have Dennis Schroder, Malcolm Delaney and Quin Cook on the roster at point guard.
Schroder has the starting spot locked in, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, Delaney should be the primary backup. Magette believes he can definitely make a difference if given the chance.
“I’m someone who controls the tempo, makes everyone around them better, makes the right play, plays with a high IQ,” Magette told Basketball Insiders. “I’m just doing little things.”
Just the possibility of getting onto an actual NBA court during the regular season would be a dream come true for Magette. He’s put in the work and effort to get to this point. He came very close last season before ending up as the Hawks’ final cut. He’s so close now, and he can feel it. He’s ready for it.
“I’m excited for all of it,” Magette told Basketball Insiders. “Taking the whole experience in and enjoying every minute of it.”
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