NBA G League Athletes Benefit As Two-Way Contract Window Closes

By Keith Schlosser | January 17, 2020

January 15th signified the last day in which NBA teams could sign players to Two-Way contracts, which meant Wednesday (and the days leading up to it) was a busy time in the NBA G League as many talented and deserving athletes waited for that oh so coveted call.

Three teams showed an appreciation for some home cooking, as Kenny Wooten (New York Knicks), Tariq Owens (Phoenix Suns), and Kyle Alexander (Miami Heat) all signed Two-Way contracts with the parent club of their respective NBA G League teams. Of course, each of the aforementioned big men has demonstrated an aptitude for some awing high-flying ways and even more artful rim protection. It’s safe to say that they all hold their own on both ends of the floor. That said, these types of unions will benefit both parties involved, because each player will come in ready to contribute after proving themselves under their new organization’s umbrella and familiarizing themselves with the system that’s in place. There’s less of a learning curve involved, therefore giving each young gun a head start on providing value at the next level. From the NBA team’s perspective, showing some added loyalty to a player who has worked hard up until this point is a nice touch as well.

As for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they reeled in a new sharpshooter who has the potential to provide some necessary firepower off the bench. Matt Mooney earned his promotion after averaging 12.5 points per game on a 48/36/96 shooting clip, and there’s little denying that his high-octane offense helped spark the Hustle’s steady 18-6 start to the season. Winning matters in the NBA G League, but much like the Cavaliers surely hope, those who contribute to winning environments will have a similar impact if given a chance up at the next level.

Next up, the Charlotte Hornets added Ray Spalding on a Two-Way pact. Over the last two seasons, the big man has flirted with double-double numbers — last season largely as an NBA assignee for the Mavericks, and this year as an all the more hungry free agent hoping for another call — averaging 15.7 points and nine rebounds in 49 NBA G League games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

In the interest of teams rolling the dice on potential newfound diamonds in the rough, the Brooklyn Nets made a move in the eleventh hour as Wednesday’s Two-Way signing window came to a close. Choosing to bring Jeremiah Martin into the fold, there’s plenty of evidence that this gifted offensive player can pour in the points, averaging 18.5 points and scoring 24 points or more on five different occasions.

All in all, six special players were rewarded for their efforts and saw their dreams realized. It’s up to them to take the experience they’ve built up to this point and use it to carve out roles for themselves in the NBA. The opportunity starts now.

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