Although the NBA added an additional two-way contract for every team for the 2023/24 season, teams haven’t been quick to sign players to such contracts. Only 11 of the league’s 30 teams have three players signed to two-way deals and several haven’t begun adding players to Exhibit 10 contracts.
The start of training camp is still several weeks away, so teams have plenty of time to add players to two-way and Exhibit 10 deals. However, many teams use training camp as an audition of sorts for players to earn two-way or even standard contract spots. Not earning a spot isn’t the end of the line for these players. If players signed to camp deals are waived before the ’23/24 starts, they’ll could receive a bonus worth up to $75K if they spend at least 60 days with their club’s G League affiliate.
Here are four players who have a chance to be promoted from their current Exhibit 10 contracts and onto a team’s two-way slot or standard deal.
The Pelicans did well after the draft to reach agreements to add players on camp contracts. Nolley, Tevian Jones, Liam Robbins and Trey Jemison make up New Orleans’ reported camp deals. Any one of those players could end up on a list such as this as some of the more accomplished collegiate players who went undrafted in the 2023 draft.
Of course, Nolley may not end up on the Pels’ final camp roster, but if his reported deal is finalized, he makes perfect sense as a developmental piece for New Orleans. Nolley is a protoypical 3-and-D player, having averaged 16.8 points last season for Cincinnati while shooting 41.7% from deep.
Nolley played for New Orleans’ Summer League team this year, averaging 8.0 points and shooting 50% from deep on 4.0 attempts across five games. At 6’7″, Nolley is a good bet to at least stick around the NBA’s radar for a few seasons. The Pelicans have two open two-way contract spots, with Dereon Seabron occupying the other.
Mayer impressed with the Rockets in Summer League, averaging 12.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks in four appearances. His showing earned him an Exhibit 10 deal with Houston, who has plenty of remaining flexibility on its training camp roster despite having three players signed to two-way deals.
Like Nolley, Mayer fits what teams look for in terms of positional archeypes, and Mayer’s ability to stretch the floor at 6’9″ is likely to be a coveted as a developmental piece. Mayer hit 33% of his 6.2 3-point attempts in college last year with Illinois and 43.5% of his 5.8 attempts from downtown in Summer League.
The Rockets have Darius Days and Trevor Hudgins signed to two-way contracts at the moment, two players who impressed en route to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ 2022/23 G League Finals appearance. Additionally, Jermaine Samuels currently occupies the Rockets’ third two-way roster spot. However, the Rockets have two open standard spots and could move players around, which would give Mayer a realistic shot at making their roster.
Of the four players listed here, Washington is the one with the most NBA experience to his name. He has 79 NBA appearances and 10 starts to his name before his third season in the league. Washington has been on both two-way and standard contracts across his two years, playing with Indiana and Phoenix before ending up with the Knicks. Washington has averaged 9.1 points on 37.1% shooting from deep for his career.
It’s a bit surprising that Washington hasn’t caught on with a roster for the long haul with his extensive game experience and impressive counting stats. The Knicks signed Washington to a two-way deal in February but he never made an appearance with them. During the team’s roster shuffling this offseason, New York waived Washington from his two-way pact before re-adding him on a camp deal.
However, the Knicks have three players signed to two-way deals already, Nathan Knight, Dylan Windler and Jaylen Martin, the latter of which is signed for two years. It’s not impossible that New York waives or signs one of those players to their 15-man roster, but it will be an uphill battle for Washington to make New York’s roster. Look for other teams to either claim Washington or sign him at a later date.
A Heat player was bound to end up on this list given their resume of turning camp guys, like Max Strus once was, into rotation NBA players. The Heat signed a bevy of players to camp contracts last week, including Justin Champagnie and Alondes Williams, two players with NBA experience, but Swider seems the most likely to make the jump to Miami’s season roster.
Swider wasn’t the most prolific collegiate player and didn’t appear on many public big boards, so it was a bit surprising to see him ink a two-year, two-way deal with the Lakers last year. However, he answered any questions in the G League with the South Bay Lakers, averaging 15.9 points and hitting 43.6% of his 7.6 deep-ball attempts in the regular season. Despite this, the Lakers waived Swider earlier this offseason.
The Heat two key sharpshooters this offseason in Strus and Gabe Vincent, while Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry, three of the team’s best shooters, have been involved in heavy speculation regarding a potential Damian Lillard trade. In any case, Miami could help replenish its stash of 3-point shooters by keeping Swider around on either a two-way or standard deal. The Heat already have three players signed to two-way deals, but they have just 13 players on standard contracts and have the flexibility to keep Swider around if they choose.
Of course, other players not listed here will likely be promoted at some point onto a team’s active roster. Additionally, players not yet signed to a team’s camp contract could also end up on a two-way or standard deal. This is just speculation, but I believe players like David Duke Jr., Trevor Keels, Louis King, Tyrese Martin, Skylar Mays and Xavier Moon, to name a few, did enough either last season in the G League or during Summer League to earn a look from a team on a camp deal.