Since the NBA introduced two-way contracts in the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement, no rookie drafted higher than No. 49 has signed one. However, Nuggets center Bol Bol – this year’s No. 44 overall pick – appears likely to fill one of Denver’s two-way slots, a source tells Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.
The Nuggets currently have an open spot on their projected 15-man regular season roster, as well as two open two-way contract slots. While it’s possible Bol will sign a standard deal and become Denver’s 15th man, Kosmider suggests the team seems content to keep that roster spot open for now, perhaps saving it for a third point guard, a trade deadline acquisition, or another purpose.
As Kosmider explains, Bol may not be ready to make an NBA impact as a rookie, since he missed much of last year with a left foot injury and still needs to put on weight. If he were on a two-way deal, he’d be able to work with the Nuggets’ development coaches and training staff while coming along slowly in the G League. If he shows he’s capable of contributing at the NBA level, the 7’2″ youngster could be elevated to the standard roster.
The Nuggets have a history of promoting promising two-way players to their standard roster — Torrey Craig and Monte Morris, who are now key rotation pieces in Denver, spent the 2017/18 season on two-way deals.
Still, signing a two-way contract (which has a base salary starting at about $80K) would be a disappointing turn of events for Bol, who was considered a probable lottery pick at this time last year. If his camp is resisting a two-way deal, that may explain why he’s one of just four 2019 draftees who is still unsigned.
Even if Bol signs a two-way contract, it remains to be seen how the Nuggets will fill their second two-way slot, writes Kosmider. Mike Singer of The Denver Post suggests that Tyler Cook will likely get a two-way deal, while Kosmider believes that other training camp invitees, including PJ Dozier, may get the opportunity to compete for that spot.