There was significant discussion on the NBA’s call with general managers today about the possibility of giving teams a third two-way contract slot for the rest of the season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
Any agreement would have to be worked out with the National Basketball Players Association, Wojnarowski notes, adding that there’s momentum toward it happening. Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that the NBA and NBPA are discussing the idea.
Since the NBA regular season began on December 22, the league has had to postpone 12 games, including 11 since this past Sunday. In every one of those instances, games were postponed because one team didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available due to COVID-19 protocols. Expanding rosters by one spot may slightly increase the odds of teams falling below eight available players.
Currently, teams are permitted to carry two players on two-way contracts, which don’t count against a club’s salary cap or luxury tax bill. This season, those players are permitted to be active for up to 50 of their teams’ 72 regular season games. The Suns and Trail Blazers are the only two teams that haven’t filled both their two-way slots.
A player who signs a two-way contract must have fewer than four years of NBA experience. That rule is expected to remain in place if the league and the players’ union agree to add a third slot, sources tell Charania (Twitter link), so a team wouldn’t be able to add a 10-year veteran with its new two-way spot.
As Jeremy Woo of SI.com notes (via Twitter), adding a total of 30 new roster spots for younger players could have a major impact on G League rosters, since many of the top candidates for two-way deals are preparing to play in the NBAGL bubble.