NOVEMBER 12: Mays’ promotion is official, the Blazers confirmed in a press release.
NOVEMBER 11: Trail Blazers guard Skylar Mays is receiving a promotion from his two-way deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Mays will be converted to a standard contract.
Portland’s backcourt has been hit hard by injuries early on in 2023/24, with Scoot Henderson (ankle), Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring strain) and Anfernee Simons (thumb surgery) all missing time. In their stead, head coach Chauncey Billups turned to Mays on Wednesday at Sacramento and he played well, recording 18 points (on 8-of-15 shooting), 11 assists (against three turnovers) and two steals in 37 minutes of action.
As Sean Highkin of the Rose Garden Report observes (Twitter link), the Blazers have an open standard roster spot, so no corresponding move will be necessary to promote Mays. Converting him will make Mays eligible to appear in every game for Portland — players on two-way deals can only be active for up to 50 games, Highkin notes.
Mays, who played four years of college ball at LSU, was the 50th overall pick in the 2020 draft and spent his first two professional seasons with the Hawks. He was on two-way contracts until being promoted to Atlanta’s standard 15-man roster during the final week of the 2021/22 regular season.
The 26-year-old spent most of last season in the G League, but caught on with Portland at the end of ’22/23. He impressed the club in his six games, averaging 15.3 PPG on excellent .500/.462/.923 shooting splits, while also chipping in 8.3 APG, 3.2 RPG and 1.0 SPG. The Blazers signed him to a two-way deal on October 1.