As we detail in our glossary entry on two-way contracts, players on two-way deals are limited to 45 days of NBA service per season (or a prorated portion of 45 days, if they sign during the season).
That means a team can’t simply carry a two-way player on its active roster all season long — in order to maximize that player’s value, the club will likely transfer him back and forth between the NBA and the G League for much of the season, getting the most out of his days on the NBA squad.
[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]
However, there’s one crucial workaround for that 45-day limit. Here’s how it’s written in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement:
“If a player provides one or more NBA Days of Service before the first day of any NBADL training camp or after the final game of the player’s team’s NBADL Regular Season, such day(s) will not count toward the 45-Day Two-Way Service Limit.”
In other words, once a player’s G League team finishes its regular season schedule, the player is free to rejoin his NBA team without having to worry about the 45-day service limit — even if the NBAGL squad is playoff-bound.
The NBA G League schedule runs through the end of this week, with 24 of the league’s 27 teams playing their final games of the regular season on Saturday. That means that after Saturday, a player like Damion Lee will be able to stay on the Warriors‘ active roster without having to worry about his 45-day clock continuing to tick.
Although two-way players will be free to play for NBA teams without service time concerns after this Saturday, they still won’t be eligible to participate in the playoffs unless they’re signed to standard NBA contracts before the end of the regular season, as we’ve previously outlined. So if Golden State wants to have Lee on its postseason roster, the team will need to open up a roster spot and convert his contract before April 10.