NBA Teams With Open Two-Way Contract Slots

Only a small handful of two-way players from 2017/18 had their contracts carried over to the 2018/19 season, while a few more signed new two-way deals. For the most part though, NBA teams have filled their two-way contract slots for the coming season with new faces, including several rookies who went undrafted in 2018.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Two-Way Contracts]

At the moment, 44 of 60 league-wide two-way contract slots are occupied, with a 45th set to be filled once the Wizards finalize their reported agreement with Jordan McRae. That leaves just 15 two-way deals available across the NBA as training camps approach.

Some clubs may not fill these slots before camps get underway, preferring to sign players to non-guaranteed NBA contracts and then convert those deals to two-way pacts later, depending on how players perform in camp and in the preseason. By the time the 2018/19 regular season begins though, I don’t expect many two-way slots to still be open.

With the help of our two-way contract tracker, which lists all the players currently on two-way deals, here are the teams who can still offer two-way contracts without waiving anyone:

Two open slots:

  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Houston Rockets
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • San Antonio Spurs

One open slot:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Golden State Warriors
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Toronto Raptors

Fellow Rookies Pick Ayton, Sexton As RoY Favorites

For the 10th time in 12 years, John Schuhmann of NBA.com got the opportunity to ask the NBA’s incoming crop of rookies a series of questions related to their fellow draftees.

Historically, the NBA rookies haven’t been particularly clairvoyant when it comes to their predictions — they haven’t accurately identified a Rookie of the Year winner since Kevin Durant in 2007/08. Still, it’s an interesting exercise, and one that occasionally results in a dead-on prediction, like when last year’s rookie class named Donovan Mitchell the steal of the 2017 draft.

Here are a few of the most interesting responses from this year’s rookies about the 2018/19 class:

  • Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Collin Sexton (Cavaliers) are viewed as the co-favorites for the Rookie of the Year award this season, with each player earning 18% of the vote. No other rookie had more than a 9% share of the vote.
  • Opinions were a little more divided on which player would have the best long-term NBA career, with Wendell Carter Jr. (Bulls) narrowly earning that title by receiving 13% of the vote. Interestingly, reigning EuroLeague MVP Luka Doncic (Mavericks) wasn’t picked by a single player for this question.
  • No. 48 overall pick Keita Bates-Diop (Timberwolves) was named the steal of the 2018 NBA draft by his fellow rookies, edging out 14th overall pick Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets) and 18th overall pick Lonnie Walker (Spurs).
  • Trae Young (Hawks) is widely considered the best shooter and play-maker in this year’s class. Jevon Carter (Grizzlies) earned the most votes for best rookie defender, while Zhaire Smith (Sixers) is viewed as the most athletic rookie.
  • Be sure to check out Schuhmann’s full piece for the rest of the rookie survey results.

Latest On Kawhi Leonard

The Raptors are making an addition to their coaching staff, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports and Ian Begley of ESPN.com, who both report that former Spurs staffer Jeremy Castleberry will join the club.

As Begley details, Castleberry is a close friend of new Raptor Kawhi Leonard, having played with the star forward in high school and at San Diego State. An assistant video coordinator with the Spurs, Castleberry will serve as a player development coach in Toronto, per Charania.

While it’s unlikely that the Raptors would be making the hire if they hadn’t previously acquired Leonard, Castleberry is – by all accounts – “more than qualified” for his new position, tweets Begley. According to Begley, the Spurs didn’t want to lose him from their staff.

With Leonard heading into a contract year, the Raptors figure to pull out all the stops in an effort to convince him that re-signing with the club and remaining in Toronto long-term is the right move. The addition of Castleberry will likely play at least a small part in the Raps’ season-long recruiting efforts.

Still, as has been reported since his trade request first went public earlier this year, Leonard’s preference is to eventually sign in Los Angeles, either with the Lakers or Clippers, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Celtics Sign P.J. Dozier To Two-Way Deal

AUGUST 21: The Celtics have officially signed Dozier to a two-way contract, according to RealGM’s NBA transactions log.

AUGUST 3: The Celtics will sign free agent guard P.J. Dozier to a two-way contract, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link). While Deveney classifies it as a done deal, there has been no confirmation yet from the club.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Dozier, who went undrafted out of South Carolina in 2017, spent training camp with the Mavericks last fall, then signed a two-way deal with the Thunder after being cut by Dallas. The 6’6″ shooting guard made his NBA debut in February, but appeared in just two games for the Thunder, spending most of his rookie year with the team’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.

In 43 NBAGL contests (28.5 MPG), Dozier averaged 12.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.3 SPG. He posted a shooting line of .465/.340/.653. Dozier stuck with OKC for Summer League action last month, recording 11.0 PPG on 52.2% shooting in five games in Las Vegas.

Looking to turn over their two-way contract slots this summer, the Thunder didn’t tender qualifying offers to Daniel Hamilton or Dozier earlier this offseason, freeing them up to sign anywhere. Dozier will join a Celtics team that has already filled its other two-way spot with Walter Lemon Jr.

Southwest Notes: Belinelli, Parker, Doncic, Rockets

Marco Belinelli will focus on the upcoming NBA season instead of playing for Italy’s national team, according to a Sportando report. The veteran shooting guard will skip World Cup qualifiers next month against Poland and Hungary in order to prepare for the Spurs’ training camp, the report continues. Belinelli, who had a previous two-year stint with San Antonio, played a combined 80 regular-season games last season for the Hawks and Sixers and averaged 12.1 PPG. He’ll back up DeMar DeRozan and could also see some action at small forward after signing a two-year, $12MM deal.

In other news from around the Southwest Division:

  • Tony Parker will come back to San Antonio to end his career, he told the Chinese website Hupu.com in an interview that was relayed by AmicoHoops.net. Parker, who signed a two-year deal with the Hornets, intend to sign a one-day contract with the Spurs when he’s ready to call it quits. “Yes, I will retire as a Spur,” Parker said.
  • Mavericks guard Luka Doncic should be able to handle the physical grind of the NBA but his athleticism and quickness will be tested in his rookie season, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. He also has to prove he can consistently knock down 3-pointers from behind the NBA arc, Sefko adds. Doncic is expected to jump right into the starting backcourt alongside Dennis Smith Jr.
  • Another trip to the Bahamas is on the docket for Rockets players, Mark Berman of Fox 26 reports.  The team will try to build chemistry by holding a bonding experience there in early September, something it also did last season.

Community Shootaround: Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker has spent his entire seven-year NBA career with the Hornets. But Walker’s future with the organization is murky at best as he heads into his walk year.

The 6’1” point guard has one year and $12MM remaining on his contract before he enters unrestricted free agency for the first time next summer. He recently said he’s intrigued about that prospect.

“I’ve never been a free agent. I don’t know how the process works,” he told the New York Post. “I will have options unless Charlotte gets something done.”

If anything gets done prior to next July, it will likely be a trade. A contract extension isn’t feasible because of Charlotte’s salary-cap restraints. The Hornets are hard-capped and will have make a move or two to avoid being a luxury taxpayer.

The Cavaliers reportedly explored the possibility of trading for Walker early in the summer prior to LeBron James‘ decision to bolt to the West Coast. New York has long been rumored as a potential landing spot for Walker, who grew up in the city. Both the Knicks and Nets might view Walker as an upgrade at that spot.

Walker has increased his offensive output with greater efficiency over the past two years. In 2016/17, he averaged career highs of 23.2 PPG on 44.4% shooting.

His numbers went down slightly last season, as he scored at a 22.1 PPG clip on 43.1% shooting. He’s become an outstanding 3-point shooter over the past three seasons, making 38.6% of his attempts.

Walker will be 29 during the next offseason and should be effective for at least another five seasons.

That brings us to our question of the day: Will Kemba Walker re-sign with the Hornets as a free agent next summer? If not, where do you think he will wind up?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

Kay Felder Agrees To Contract With Raptors

The Raptors have agreed to a one-year, partially-guaranteed contract with point guard Kay Felder, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.

Felder hit the free agent market when the Pistons, who signed him to a two-way contract in mid-January, declined to extend a qualifying offer to him this summer.

Felder, 23, appeared in just two games with Detroit. He averaged 3.9 points and 1.4 per game over 14 games with the Bulls last season before he was waived in December.

The 5’9” Felder, a second-round pick in 2016, played his rookie season with the Cavaliers and saw action in 42 games. He was traded to the Hawks during training camp last season and was subsequently waived. Chicago then claimed him.

Felder would appear to have little chance to make Toronto’s opening-day roster, barring injuries. The Raptors already have Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright, Lorenzo Brown, and two-way player Jordan Loyd at that spot.

Investigation Into Mavs’ Misconduct Could Wrap Up Soon

The results of the investigation into the Mavericks’ alleged front-office misconduct could be made public next week, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. The league and team would like to have the results finalized by Labor Day but there’s no firm timetable, Sefko continues.

An SI.com report back in February detailed inappropriate behavior by former employees, including former team president and CEO Terdema Ussery. Outside counsel was hired soon after to investigate the matter but the probe has dragged on through the summer.

The investigation is currently awaiting input and possible league sanctions, along with a re-examination of the details in the report, sources told Sefko.

It’s expected that the league will dole out some form of punishment to the organization, though the franchise has made sweeping moves to under new CEO Cynthia Marshall to change the front-office culture, Sefko adds. The front office has been overhauled and new initiatives were put in place to give all employees a voice in matters of inclusion and diversity.

Jarnell Stokes Agrees To Contract With Heat

The Heat have agreed to a contract with forward Jarnell Stokes, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweets.

Terms were not disclosed but it’s almost certainly a training camp deal.

The 6’9” Stokes hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2016/17 season, when he made two cameos with the Nuggets. He was in the Heat organization the previous year and saw action in five games. He also played 21 games with the Grizzlies after being acquired in a draft-night trade with the Jazz. He was the 35th pick of the 2014 draft.

Stokes played in China last season before getting waived in early February. He played for the Bulls’ summer league team in July and averaged 5.0 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 10.2 MPG over five Las Vegas games.

His biggest claim to fame was being the G League MVP in 2016 after posting averages of 2o.6 PPG and 9.3 RPG for the Sioux Falls SkyForce.

Remaining Offseason Questions: Southwest Division

NBA teams have now completed the brunt of their offseason work, with the draft and free agency practically distant memories. Still, with training camps more than a month away, most clubs around the league have at least one or two outstanding issues they’ve yet to address.

We’re in the midst of looking at all 30 NBA teams, separating them by division and checking in on the key outstanding question that each club still needs to answer before the 2018/19 regular season begins.

After focusing on the Atlantic, Central, and Southeast last week, we’re heading to the Western Conference this week, starting with the Southwest…

Dallas Mavericks
When will the investigation into allegations of misconduct in the Mavericks’ workplace wrap up?

It was way back in February that an SI.com report revealed a seemingly corrosive workplace culture in the Mavericks‘ business offices, prompting the team to hire outside counsel to look into the issue. Six months later, that investigation has yet to conclude.

The probe into alleged misconduct within the Mavs’ organization may not have any real impact on the on-court product in Dallas, and it didn’t scare away free agents this summer — the club landed DeAndre Jordan, one of the top players on the market. Still, Mark Cuban‘s organization needs to repair its image, so the Mavs figure to take steps to address the investigators’ findings once the outside firm has finished its work.

While there’s no specific timeline for the completion of the investigation, I’d be surprised if it’s not done by the time the Mavs play their first regular season game of 2018/19.

Houston Rockets
Will they be able to acquire another veteran wing player?

After coming within a game of the NBA Finals this spring, the Rockets are zeroed in on beating the Warriors in 2018/19. As they showed in the Western Conference Finals against Golden State, the best way to attack the defending champs is with a series of three-and-D wings who are capable of making corner threes after Chris Paul and James Harden break down the defense, and who can slow down the Dubs’ perimeter scorers on the other end of the court.

Houston lost two of those players – Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute – this offseason, and while they brought in veterans like James Ennis and Carmelo Anthony, the Rockets really could use another reliable wing. They’re said to be in the market for a player who fits that bill, dangling Ryan Anderson and a draft pick in trade talks.

Given Anderson’s exorbitant salary, the Rockets have to target well-paid vets as they scour the trade market, so players like Kent Bazemore and J.R. Smith have been cited as potential targets. Nicolas Batum, DeMarre Carroll, Courtney Lee, Danilo Gallinari, Marvin Williams, and Wesley Matthews are among the other players who could appeal to Houston and who shouldn’t be untouchable.

Although a trade remains possible, the Rockets may have to strike within the next month or so, before training camps get underway. Teams will become more reluctant to shake up their rosters once they’ve brought players to camp.

Memphis Grizzlies
Who will be traded or released in order to finalize the 15-man roster?

The Grizzlies currently have 15 players with fully guaranteed salaries for the 2018/19 season. They also have a 16th player – Andrew Harrison – whose salary is non-guaranteed but who appears likely to make the regular season roster. In other words, Memphis may end up trading or waiving someone with a guaranteed contract.

Memphis will have until mid-October to make a roster decision, but based on the team’s offseason moves and the nature of certain players’ contracts, there aren’t many viable candidates to be cut.

Dakari Johnson, acquired in a financially motivated trade with the Magic, is the likeliest release candidate on the roster, but waiving him would leave the Grizzlies pretty thin at center behind Marc Gasol. The club would have to be confident that Jaren Jackson Jr. can contribute in his rookie season or that a forward like Ivan Rabb or JaMychal Green can slide to the five.

"<strongNew Orleans Pelicans
How many players do the Pelicans intend to carry to start the season?

As we noted on Sunday, the Pelicans have 12 players on fully guaranteed salaries. That leaves up to three spots on the club’s roster for the regular season, and there are several legit NBA players who figure to be in the mix for those spots.

A pair of Okafors will be seeking a place in the frontcourt rotation, with both Emeka Okafor and Jahlil Okafor on partially guaranteed deals. On the wing, Troy Williams and DeAndre Liggins will look to stick in New Orleans after bouncing from team to team in recent seasons.

If the Pelicans don’t make any other additions to their NBA roster this offseason, they could carry three of those players on their 15-man roster, leaving just one of the four on the outside looking in. However, if New Orleans prefers to retain a little roster flexibility, the team could enter the season with an open roster spot. That would likely mean carrying just one of the two Okafors, as well as one of Williams or Liggins. In that scenario, we could see some pretty fierce roster battles in training camp and the preseason.

San Antonio Spurs
Will Manu Ginobili be back for one more season?

Tim Duncan is gone. Tony Parker is gone. Kawhi Leonard is gone. But Manu Ginobili is still a Spur. Now, it’s just a question of whether or not the NBA’s second-oldest player wants to play out the final season of his current contract with the franchise.

If Ginobili was a free agent this offseason, the threat of retirement might loom a little larger, but at this point in the summer, I’d be a little surprised if the veteran guard decides he didn’t want to return for the second season of the two-year deal he inked last summer.

Assuming Ginobili is back – which seems like the safe bet for now – the Spurs’ roster for 2018/19 should essentially be set. The 41-year-old figures to announce his plans in the coming days or weeks.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.