2021/22 NBA Two-Way Contract Conversions

At Hoops Rumors, we track virtually every kind of transaction, including free agent signings, trades, contract extensions, waiver claims, and many more. One form of roster move that has become increasingly common in recent years is the two-way conversion, involving a player either being converted from an Exhibit 10 contract to a two-way deal, or from a two-way deal to the standard roster.

In the past, we haven’t created trackers to keep tabs on each year’s two-way conversions in one place, but we’re going to do so for the 2021/22 season, since there have already been quite a few of them.

Let’s dive in…

Exhibit 10 contracts to two-way contracts:

When a player signs a contract during the offseason that includes Exhibit 10 language, he gives his new team the ability to unilaterally convert his deal into a two-way contract. The deadline to convert such a deal is the day before the season begins — this year that was Monday, October 18.

A player who signs a training camp contract that doesn’t include Exhibit 10 language could still sign a two-way deal with his club as long as his camp contract doesn’t include a guarantee exceeding $50K. However, he’d have to clear waivers before inking that new two-way contract.

Here are the players who had their Exhibit 10 contracts converted into two-way deals in 2021/22:

A number of these players were invited to training camp on Exhibit 10 contracts and ultimately earned two-way slots based on their performances in camp and the preseason. Cook, Duke, Fall, Fitts, Nembhard, Nix, Pickett, and Pons fall into this group.

Others were waived by different teams before the regular season roster deadline, then were claimed off waivers on October 18 and immediately converted to two-way deals. This group is made up of Cacok, Dowtin and Mathews, who were cut by Brooklyn, Orlando, and Boston, respectively.

The one player who doesn’t fall into either category is Brooks, whose conversion from an Exhibit 10 to a two-way was completed entirely for procedural reasons. Doing so allowed the Rockets to negotiate a new standard contract with Brooks (as detailed below) without having to waive him.

Two-way contracts to standard contracts:

A player who is on a two-way contract can have his deal unilaterally converted a one-year, minimum-salary contract by his team (or a two-year, minimum-salary contract if the player’s two-way deal covers two years, but this is rare).

However, a team generally prefers to negotiate a longer-term contract with the player in order to avoid having him reach free agency at season’s end.

When converting a player from a two-way contract to the standard roster, the team can use cap room or the non-taxpayer mid-level exception to negotiate a deal of up to four years; the taxpayer mid-level exception for a deal up to three years; or the room exception, bi-annual exception, or minimum salary exception for a two-year deal.

The player must agree to any deal that is worth more than the minimum or exceeds the number of years left on his two-way pact.

Here are the players who have been converted from two-way deals to standard contracts this year, along with the terms of their new contracts:

  • Armoni Brooks (Rockets): Four years, minimum salary. First year guaranteed. Second and third years non-guaranteed. Fourth-year team option.
  • Luka Garza (Pistons): Two years, minimum salary. First year guaranteed. Second-year team option.
  • Austin Reaves (Lakers): Two years, minimum salary. First year partially guaranteed ($100K). Second-year team option.

All three of these players had to agree to the terms of their new contracts, since their teams didn’t exercise the unilateral conversion option. The Pistons and Lakers used the minimum salary exception to lock up Garza and Reaves to two-year deals, while the Rockets dipped into their non-taxpayer mid-level exception in order to go up to four years for Brooks.

Players on two-way contracts can be converted to standard deals until the last day of the regular season, so we expect to add more players to this list in the coming months.

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