Garrison Mathews

Two-Way Players Making Bids For Promotions

Players on two-way contracts are free to appear in NBA games, but there are limitations on the amount of time they can spend with their respective NBA teams. Even in 2020/21, with those restrictions loosened a little, each two-way player can only appear in 50 of his team’s 72 games, assuming he signed before the season began.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Two-Way Contracts]

While 50 games should be more than enough for most teams to get through the season without maxing out the eligibility of their two-way players, some have emerged as regular rotation pieces for their respective clubs and are likely to reach the 50-game mark before season’s end, barring an injury.

In order to remove those restrictions, a team has to promote a two-way player to its 15-man roster, either converting him to a rest-of-season, minimum-salary contract or negotiating a new multiyear deal.

While it’s a little early in the 2020/21 season to determine which two-way players will ultimately end up being promoted to 15-man rosters, a handful of players on two-way deals have made strong cases for standard contracts in the early going.

Here are some of the top candidates to receive promotions among this year’s two-way players:


Jordan McLaughlin (Timberwolves)

McLaughlin spent the 2019/20 season on a two-way contract with the Timberwolves and played well enough to earn a standard deal in the offseason, having averaged 7.6 points, 4.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game with a .489/.382/.667 shooting line in 30 contests (19.7 MPG).

A restricted free agent, McLaughlin reportedly received a multiyear contract offer from Minnesota, but it would’ve been a team-friendly deal that included multiple non-guaranteed years. The 24-year-old opted to bet on himself instead, playing another year on a two-way contract and hoping for a better opportunity when he returns to the free agent market in the summer of 2021.

We’ll have to wait to see whether or not that was the right call, but so far it doesn’t look like last season was a fluke. With D’Angelo Russell, Ricky Rubio, and Anthony Edwards in the picture, there are fewer backcourt minutes to go around, but McLaughlin has played well in a limited role, with 5.5 PPG, 4.1 APG, and .455/.375/.800 shooting in 17.2 MPG (11 games).

Garrison Mathews (Wizards)

Like McLaughlin, Mathews was on a two-way contract last season and played well, but ended up having to take another two-way deal. He’s once again proving that he deserves consideration for a promotion, with 8.9 PPG and 1.4 SPG on .429/.405/.889 shooting through 10 games (19.7 MPG).

Unfortunately for Mathews, the Wizards currently have a full 15-man roster made up of mostly non-expendable players. If the team cuts recent signee Alex Len at some point or makes a trades that opens up a roster spot, that could create an opportunity for Mathews.

Yuta Watanabe (Raptors)

Invited to training camp on an Exhibit 10 contract alongside other NBA veterans like Henry Ellenson and Alize Johnson in the fall, Watanabe played his way onto the 17-man regular season roster, with the Raptors converting his non-guaranteed camp deal into a two-way contract at the end of the preseason.

Since then, Watanabe who spent the last two years on a two-way deal with the Grizzlies, has gradually been making a case for more playing time. His box-score numbers (3.9 PPG and 3.4 RPG) are modest, but he’s been hot from three-point range so far, knocking down 12-of-25 attempts (48.0%) and is providing energy and defensive itensity off the bench.

In Toronto’s last five games, Watanabe has been one of the team’s most-used bench players, logging 18.8 minutes per game and bumping his averages to 8.0 PPG and 5.0 RPG.

Since releasing Len, the Raptors have been holding an open spot on their 15-man roster. If that spot doesn’t get filled in a trade at some point in the coming weeks, Watanabe looks like the best bet to fill it before the end of the season.

Others to watch:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Garrison Mathews Accepts Two-Way QO From Wizards

NOVEMBER 22: The Wizards have officially announced that Mathews is back under contract on a two-way deal.


NOVEMBER 21: Garrison Mathews will accept his qualifying offer and remain with the Wizards, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The decision was confirmed by Mathews’ agent, Chris Patrick Jr.

The 24-year-old shooting guard signed a two-way contract with Washington in July of 2019. His QO is another two-way deal that carries a $50K guarantee.

Matthews appeared in 18 games as a rookie and established himself as a dangerous shooter from the perimeter. He hit 41.3% from three-point range while averaging 5.4 points per game in about 12 minutes per night.

Raptors’ Boucher Among Players Receiving Qualifying Offers

Raptors big man Chris Boucher is receiving a qualifying offer from the team, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

The QO, which is worth just shy of $2MM, will make Boucher a restricted free agent this offseason. As long as that offer remains in place, he’ll have the option of accepting it and playing out the season in Toronto, or negotiating a new contract with the Raptors or another team. If he signs an offer sheet with a rival suitor, the Raps would have the opportunity to match it.

Unlike his teammate, Raptors wing Malcolm Miller won’t be getting a $2MM qualifying offer, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Instead of becoming a restricted free agent, Miller will be unrestricted, free to sign outright with any team.

Here are a few more updates on qualifying offers being issued across the NBA:

  • The Kings extended a qualifying offer to two-way player DaQuan Jeffries, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic, who tweets that Sacramento coaches like Jeffries’ defense and energy. Jeffries’ QO will be another two-way deal with a $50K guarantee.
  • The Wizards have made a qualifying offer to two-way shooting guard Garrison Mathews, per Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). Matthews averaged 5.4 PPG with an impressive .413 3PT% in 18 games (12.6 MPG) for Washington as a rookie. His QO is another two-way contract with a $50K guarantee.
  • Two-way guard Gabe Vincent received a qualifying offer from the Heat, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Vincent didn’t see much time in the NBA last season, but the Heat apparently liked what they saw enough to offer him a second two-way deal.

Wizards Notes: Mathews, Beal, Rotation, Hachimura

Having been one of the first NBA teams to arrive at the Walt Disney World campus on Tuesday, the Wizards announced today (via Twitter) that their quarantine period has ended and they’ll conduct their first practice later this afternoon.

However, one player who won’t participate in that practice is two-way guard Garrison Mathews. Sources tell Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link) that Mathews didn’t travel to Orlando with the team for personal reasons. According to Katz, Mathews hasn’t tested positive for the coronavirus, but it remains unclear whether he’ll join the team later or miss the rest of the season.

Mathews, a rookie out of Lipscomb, appeared in just 18 games for the Wizards during the season, averaging 12.6 minutes per contest, so he wasn’t exactly an indispensable rotation piece. Still, Matthews would likely have moved up on the depth chart with Bradley Beal sidelined for the restart, so if he doesn’t eventually join the club at Disney, he’ll be missed.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Although Beal was shut down for the rest of the season due to a rotator cuff injury, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said this week that he doesn’t think surgery “is an option at all” for the All-Star guard. Rest and a longer training camp period should have Beal ready to go for 2020/21, according to Sheppard. “I think if we had another month of ramp-up time, Bradley would probably be ready to play,” Sheppard said, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “These are eight games vs. 82 next season and all the seasons beyond that. I think it’s worth mitigating the risk right now for what’s ahead.”
  • In a separate story for NBC Sports Washington, Hughes contends that Beal’s performance this season showed that we still don’t know exactly what his ceiling is.
  • With Beal, Davis Bertans, and John Wall not participating in the summer restart, a handful of younger Wizards will get a chance to take on larger roles, according to Jackson Filyo of WashingtonWizards.com, who points to Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, and Jerome Robinson as players who could step up. “I’m so excited for this opportunity,” Hachimura said, per Hughes. “I think we have a chance to make the playoffs.”

Wizards Notes: Mathews, Wall, Payton, Bertans

Wizards rookie wing Garrison Mathews will miss multiple weeks with a right ankle sprain, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Mathews, who is on a two-way contract, rolled his ankle when he stepped on Celtics forward Jayson Tatum‘s shoe. Mathews is averaging 6.2 PPG while shooting 42.9 % from long range.

We have more on the Wizards:

  • Point guard John Wall is participating in three-on-three scrimmages against members of the player development staff, Hughes relays in a separate story. It’s another step in Wall’s recovery from a ruptured left Achilles tendon. He had recently progressed from running and dunking to one-on-one contact drills with coaches, Hughes adds. However, there’s no expectation Wall will play this season. “I don’t know if he’s going to play this year. I don’t know if he’s not going to play,” head coach Scott Brooks said.
  • Guard Gary Payton II has earned a spot in the rotation, Jackson Filyo of the team’s website notes. Payton was signed under the league’s hardship exception last month due to a wave of injuries. “I’ve been hungry ever since I got here,” Payton said. “In and out of the G League, trying to find somewhere to stick. I think these guys here appreciate what I do and value what I do, so I go to bat for them every day.” In his first nine games with Washington, Payton is averaging 5.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.0 APG and 2.3 SPG in 23.6 MPG.
  • Davis Bertans returned to action on Friday with a minutes restriction, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. The stretch four was out for nine games with a quad injury. Bertans, who has an expiring $7MM contract, is averaging 15.4 PPG while making 43.2% of his 3-point attempts.

Wizards Notes: Culture, Bryant, Smith, Mathews

The culture in Washington has changed dramatically from last season and Ish Smith believes the team the Wizards could be on a similar path to the one the Nets are on, as he told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance after the team’s recent win over the Celtics.

“Brooklyn, I thought, did a great job of it last year. They’ve been doing a great job over the last two years – they haven’t had any true superstars, but now they do,” Smith said. “They’ve just been playing hard and guys have emerged out of nowhere.

“You look at Joe Harris; Joe Harris wasn’t a household name, now he is one. Spencer Dinwiddie, I can go down the line, all of those guys who played really, really well and held down the fort – and they made it to the playoffs last year. Obviously, D’Angelo [Russell] was a household name and everybody knew who he was, but I thought Brooklyn had laid that [foundation] down. We’re just trying to play hard, try to play smarter. We’re embodying who Coach [Scott] Brooks is. Coach Brooks is a fighter and that’s who he was his whole career. I think we’re doing a great job of doing that these last few games.”

The Wizards have had a stockpile of injuries and players without much brand recognition have stepped up. Here’s more on the unique squad out of Washington:

  • The front office would like to promote Anzejs Pasecniks, who is on a two-way deal, to the 15-man roster, though good luck guessing which player would be waived if that happens. Gary Payton II‘s contract for the season became fully guaranteed on Tuesday, which makes the Wizards roster 15-for-15 in guaranteed contracts.
  • Thomas Bryant could make his return to the court this weekend. The Wizards play the Hawks on Friday and the Jazz on Sunday.
  • Wizards guard Jordan McRae spoke about how Smith, has impacted the club “Ish [Smith] is doing what Ish does. We’ve been going through droughts where we can’t score. Him being the point guard, him being the leader that he is, he’s taken it upon himself,” McRae said. We recently detailed how Smith is channeling his inner Steve Nash for the Wizards.
  • Brook said there is no update on Garrison Mathews, who is dealing with an ankle sprain, Fred Katz of The Athletic relays on Twitter.

Southeast Notes: Graham, Love, Mathews, Richardson

Breakout Hornets point guard Devonte’ Graham is shooting just 27 percent from the field over the last nine games and that’s a sign that opponents are respecting him, former teammate Kemba Walker told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

“You learn, you grow and you adapt,” Walker said. “He’s showing the whole NBA how good a player he is, so that kind of attention is going to come. You just have to accept it as kind of a respect thing.” Earning a $1.4MM salary this season, Graham is one of the league’s biggest bargains. He is averaging 18.9 PPG, 7.7 APG, and 3.9 RPG for the 13-23 Hornets.

Graham’s recent shooting woes have decreased his field goal percentage this season to just 37.6% overall. That said, he still boasts two solid shooting percentages. Graham is connecting on 39.1% of his triples and 80.3% of his free throws with the Hornets.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Trading for Cavaliers big man Kevin Love wouldn’t make sense for the Hornets, Bonnell writes in a mailbag post. While the team needs star power, Love is owed more than $90MM beyond this season and will be 34 when that contract expires in 2023, Bonnell continues. Even if the Hornets sneak into the playoffs, they wouldn’t be set up to advance with Love, limited on defense, as the No. 1 option, Bonnell adds.
  • Garrison Mathews said he was capable of torching an opponent with his shooting ability prior to his 28-point outburst against Miami on Monday, according to Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington. The Wizards signed the undrafted rookie to a two-way contract in early July. Mathews, who made four 3-pointers and 12 free throws against the Heat, spoke of his offensive prowess during a pregame TV interview. “I’m not just a basketball player, I’m a professional shooter,” he said. A 6’5″ shooting guard out of Lipscomb, Mathews averaged 20.8 PPG and 5.5 RPG in his final season at Lipscomb, knocking down 3.2 threes per game at a 40.3% rate.
  • Josh Richardson could have been a perfect complementary piece to Jimmy Butler if the two were together with the Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Miami needed to include Richardson in their sign-and-trade deal for Butler to make the salary requirements work. Richardson wound up in a better situation with Philadelphia, who have legitimate title aspirations than if he had been dealt to Minnesota last season when the Heat tried to put together a package for Butler, Winderman adds.

Additional contributions by Alex Kirschenbaum.

Wizards Notes: Centers, Miles, Schofield, Ratings

The Wizards are trying to survive with no healthy centers on their roster, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. The foot injury that sidelined Thomas Bryant for at least three weeks was terrible news for a team that is already missing Ian Mahinmi because of an Achilles injury and Moritz Wagner with a sprained left ankle.

Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans both started in the frontcourt in Tuesday’s loss to the Magic, while 6’5″ Admiral Schofield was called up from the G League for reinforcement. Katz notes that Wagner should return soon, but he’s averaging more than seven fouls per 36 minutes, so he may have a problem staying on the court.

The Wizards aren’t likely to make a roster move to address the predicament, Katz adds. Jordan McRae and Justin Robinson have partially guaranteed contracts, but management likes both players and isn’t likely to cut them for short-term help. The same holds true for two-way players Chris Chiozza and Garrison Mathews. After a 6-13 start, the focus of this season will remain on player development rather than wins and losses.

There’s more from Washington, D.C.:

  • C.J. Miles had successful surgery today to fix damaged ligaments in his left wrist, the Wizards announced on Twitter. No timeline has been set for Miles’ return, and there were concerns that surgery might keep him out of action for the rest of the season.
  • Before Schofield joined the Wizards last night, he played 38 minutes in a G League game for the Capital City Go-Go, relays Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. He became the first player in franchise history and one of only a handful throughout the league who have appeared in two games in one day. “This is one of those days where you get to fall in love with the game again because it’s so much basketball,” said Schofield, who played 7:19 against Orlando. Robinson was also called up after playing in the early game, but wasn’t used.
  • The Wizards have suffered the largest decline in local television ratings of any NBA team, tweets John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. Washington’s games are drawing a 57% smaller audience than they did last season.

Wizards Waive Pasecniks, Jones

The Wizards have waived center Anzejs Pasecniks and forward Jalen Jones, the team’s media relations department tweets.

Both players were recently signed to Exhibit 10 contracts and will likely wind up with the team’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.

Pasecniks, a seven-footer from Latvia, was acquired by the Sixers on draft night in 2017 after he was selected with the 25th overall pick by Orlando. He played overseas the last two seasons for the Spanish team Gran Carania. Philadelphia renounced his NBA rights, clearing a path for him to join the Wizards for Summer League play.

Jalen Jones, a 6’7″ forward out of Texas A&M, has appeared in 32 total games for the Pelicans, Mavericks, and Cavaliers over the last two seasons. He was waived from his two-way contract with Cleveland in January and finished the 2018/19 season with Baskonia in Spain.

Jordan McRae and Justin Robinson are likely to get the last two roster spots now that Pasecniks and Jones have been waived, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. McRae’s veteran minimum salary includes a guarantee of $600K if he’s on the opening night roster. His $1.6MM contract would fully guarantee if he’s still on the Wizards through December 20th.

Robinson’s $988K contract doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th. Robinson, a 6’2” guard, was signed in July after going undrafted out of Virginia Tech.

Guard Chris Chiozza will likely receive the team’s other two-way contract, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. Chiozza was signed to a training camp deal last month. The Wizards’ other two-way player is guard Garrison Mathews.

Wizards Sign Garrison Mathews To Two-Way Contract

The Wizards have officially signed undrafted rookie Garrison Mathews to a two-way contract, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). RealGM’s log of NBA transactions confirms that the move has been completed.

Mathews’ agreement with the team was first reported shortly after the draft last month by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

A 6’5″ shooting guard, Mathews has been one of the NCAA’s premier marksmen in the NCAA over the last four years. He averaged 20.8 PPG and 5.5 RPG in his final season at Lipscomb, knocking down 3.2 threes per game at a 40.3% rate, and was named the ASUN Player of the Year.

Washington entered the 2019/20 league year with two open two-way slots. Devin Robinson was the only two-way player under contract with the Wizards to finish the 2018/19 campaign, and the team announced that he wouldn’t return after word broke in April that he had been arrested following a nightclub fight.