2-Way Contract Breakdown
With now 26 G-League (not D-League) teams and the last 4 NBA teams needing to eventually form their own farm teams, there is great expansion for the NBA’s minor league. And not only great but very quick. Generally the aim of the new teams and new contracts is to keep players at home, in the US, playing for a G-League with the kinda, sort, maybe hope and promise that they have a chance to make the NBA. While depleting a significant amount of talent that could help many teams overseas.
The big, new change that came in with the G-League is 2-ways contracts. In the past it was an open market, you had players on your G-League team but any NBA team could sign them. Now you get 2 designated players that can’t be touched. And that means 30 teams get 2 players as well, so the G-League’s Top 60 (ish) players are now locked up. Meaning that if you have a need at a certain position and your two 2-Way players doesn’t play that position, the top 10 or so best options in the G-League are not available to you. So you really have to choose your 2-ways wisely. Not only balancing the potential ability for the player to become an NBA player but also the possibility that the player could actually help contribute if necessary this season. And you likely want some positional diversity between the two players, so you have injury coverage on two positions.
You can look at a 2-way FAQ here but basically a player can only play on the NBA or G-League team they sign with and they have a maximum of 45 days on an NBA roster throughout the season. Unless you’re a surefire NBA player right now like Mike James or your team just desperately needs the help, the NBA team is going to manage the days throughout the season pretty closely so they can hold on to the asset all year. If you’re a player with an unlikely chance at the NBA, it’s a good deal. But if you’re an NBA level player sitting in the G-League because your team is full at your position, it’s an extremely restricting contract that takes away your chance to sign with 29 other NBA teams. Some teams have even signed their 2-way player to a two-year 2-way deal.
It remains to be seen if the 2-way contract is actually useful from both a player and team perspective. While the team basically gets full control of 2 prospects for a whole season, they also cut themselves off from so many other players they could have signed once the season started. But it should be said the 2-way also enticed players to come over that may have stayed playing abroad.
And for the players, you’re technically part of an NBA team, which is a big deal. Before G-League training camp started, the days on an NBA roster clock hadn’t begun to tick so you saw a bunch of players getting into NBA games. Jacob Wiley, Gian Clavell, Jabari Bird…. This would have never been possible in past years and I’m sure that matters to players. But once the G-League season gets started and only one team can call them up, it’ll be interesting to see how that affects players.
In my opinion, I’m still not sure if the 2-way contracts are a long-term solution. It just really handcuffs a player and significantly diminishes the in-season pool of players for teams to pick up. And looking through the players who signed these deals, there’s a lot of players with slim or close to zero long-term NBA potential and would fit better being a significant contributor on an Overseas team. It’s just an incorrect asset allocation, the NBA really doesn’t need to hold on to all these players, the international ball market could really use the talent influx, and if the player is of NBA quality he will be called up by a team anyway. Of course this is the first year of 2-ways and teams will get better using these spots but there still isn’t enough talent potential to warrant all the spots. Teams were scrapping in just the past month or so to fill some of these spots. And many teams that took bad or average 2-ways would rather just have open access to the other 60 players under 2-way control.
Here’s an initial look at the 2-Way Contracts by team. Each player has been put into a category: NBA Potential Rookie, Fringe NBA, Solid Rookie, Vet Contributor/Overseas Player/Overseas Player, and Potential? (Numbers) are overall totals among the current 58 2-way contracts (Timberwolves still have a spot to fill). The teams are listed in NBA alphabetical order.
NBA Potential Rookie (12): Speaks for itself, rookies who can either make the NBA full-time or at least would have been prime 10-day contract options. Really this is what you’re looking for in a 2-way contract player.
Fringe NBA (9): These are vets who have either played in the NBA or are very close to the line of making the League. Most of these players are only entering their 2nd or 3rd pro season and are also the type of player you want for a 2-way.
Solid Rookie (4): Rookies who impressed whether at PIT, Summer League, or in College but don’t necessarily fit into the ‘NBA mold’. Still can make the NBA and are great young prospects for Overseas.
Vet Contributor/Overseas Player (22): Many of these players are veterans in Europe or Asia and are well compensated, good players there. While some of them don’t have a lot of ‘NBA potential’ or chance to really stick, they are good right now. There’s no waiting for them to develop. And in certain situations, these players could help contribute to NBA teams that have injuries or need minutes from a 2-way player this season.
Potential? (12) – Some of these players I have a good handle on, some I don’t, especially the rookies who left college early. There’s a ‘potential’ aspect to these players. And a lot of that comes from because they are young and still need to develop into their NBA or high level role. So right now, it’s tough to say which direction they are going. But could be worthy risks.
Atlanta Hawks/Erie Bayhawks
Josh Magette | 1.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Long time D/G-League player who had stints in Holland and Greece. This was a very early two-way signing and I’m not totally sure why. Magette is not an NBA player. The one thing Magette will bring is stability to the G league team and the Hawks could use that because typically new NBA and G League relationships take time to develop in the first season.
Boston Celtics/Maine Red Claws
Kadeem Allen 1.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
For the Celtics these spots were pretty easy to fill, they just gave them too their two late 2nd Round picks. Both are stud athletes and also two of the better rookie 2-way selections. Allen is just a beast defensively. He’s going to cause havoc for other G-League PG’s. Allen isn’t a natural PG, he doesn’t have great feel for the game but his physical tools, athleticism, and defensive instinct are top notch. The Red Claws have had two physical, kinda of PG’s the last two seasons and now Corey Walden is in Israel (Hapoel Holon) and Marcus Georges-Hunt has signed with the Timberwolves. Allen likely falls somewhere in-between.
Jabari Bird | 2.3 | NBA Potential Rookie
Modern wing, shoots 3’s and is a super leaper. He’s going to be an automatic pull coming off of PnR and his shooting and athleticism are could be what gets him into the NBA. Has more potential than some players who made NBA rosters. Will be paying attention to if his handle develops in the G-League.
Brooklyn/Long Island Nets
Jacob Wiley | 4.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
Wiley broke onto the scene at PIT and has been hustling his way into the prospect zone ever since. He’s undersized and without a consistent outside shot but the combo big just outworks everyone. Doesn’t fit typically into the NBA but the motor is so outstanding that his contagious energy might find him some NBA minutes and if not he’s a super prospect for Europe.
Yakuba Ouattara | 2.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
French guard/wing had a big season for Monaco, as the team also had a breakout year. Ouattara fit in perfectly with the Monaco style, attack, fly around on defense, and in general create mayhem. He’s strong and athletic, a power guard of sorts. Ouattara thrives in transition. He’s an interesting wing athlete with spot up ability. Worth a look by the Nets.
Charlotte Hornets/Greensboro Swarm
Mangok Mathiang | 5.0 | Solid Rookie
Solid defensive presence. He impressed some at Orlando Summer League. Mathiang is a recently turned 25 years old rookie, which is extremely old for his experience. Mathiang can be an effective G-League big but with his Cotonou passport he already could be a solid big man addition to a Serie A or Pro A team.
Marcus Paige | 1.3 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
The former North Carolina star had just an average rookie D-League season. Even though he was an elite shot maker in college, Paige is so skinny and has a frail build that just wasn’t cut out for pro physicality. Last season Paige had almost as many turnovers assists and showed that even though he has point guard size really he’s a short scoring guard. But returning to the place where he was a star in college adds some value to the G-League team.
Chicago/Windy City Bulls
Ryan Arcidiacono | 1.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Another college star who won a NCAA Championship at Villanova, Arcidiacono was really just a role player for the Austin Spurs last season. In the offseason with his Bosman-2 Italian passport, he signed with Juve Caserta. But Caserta was broke and left Serie A and Arcidiacono signed a 2-way. He’s a gritty lead guard who can knockdown some open shots. But he didn’t even sign with a Playoff Italian team, so trying to make the NBA will be tough. Better off seeing him vs the Forray’s and Filloy’s of the world.
Antonio Blakeney | 1.5 | Potential?
This is a wait and see one for me. Was the other big recruit coming in with Ben Simmons but LSU has been a mess while he was there. Talented scoring guard who came out after his Sophomore year. Need to see him really play in the G-League before evaluating deeper.
Cleveland Cavaliers/Canton Charge
John Holland | 2.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
He’s been in the G-League for two straight seasons and is a vet in Europe. Everyone knows Holland. He’s a solid scoring wing. Not quite an NBA player but can fill-in when called upon. He’s basically a 16th roster spot for Cleveland. Asking price has been high for European teams.
London Perrantes | 1.0 | NBA Potential Rookie
Considering he went to training camp with the Spurs, I would have thought he’d stay in their G-League system. This is a total steal for Cleveland. Perrantes is one of the best rookie PG’s and has a real shot at making the NBA because he flat-out makes his teammates better. Could be the best passer in the G-League. Need to see if he has the requisite burst and scoring to keep defenses from leaning on his passing tendencies. Can jump straight to Europe high level at any time.
Dallas Mavericks/Texas Legends
Johnathan Motley | 4.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
Motley plays with great activity and power. He’s an undersized big but doesn’t really have the perimeter skills to play much 4. He’s an offensive rebounding monster with the potential to be a rim and mid roll guy in PnR. Likely gets a couple more 2-way or NBA chances. Was on a lot of Draft boards.
Gian Clavell | 1.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
Clavell was a less heralded rookie, no PIT or NBA combine. But he lit Las Vegas Summer League on fire at times and earned a spot from the Mavs. He’s a prolific 3-point shooter and just guns from the wing. Already having played in 5 NBA games, the Mavs need bench players and Clavell’s contract could be converted to a full guarantee.
Monte Morris | 1.0 | NBA Potential Rookie
The Iowa State offensive caretaker was drafted by the Nuggets in the 2nd Round and is an easy conversion to a 2-way deal. Morris holds onto the ball and runs the offense. He’s the consummate old school PG. Will be interesting to see how that style plays out in the G-League. Since Denver doesn’t have a G-League affiliate he will have to be sent to someone else’s team.
Torrey Craig| 3.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Craig had a super showing for the Nuggets at the Vegas Summer League and earned a 2-way. After playing in Australia for three seasons, Craig has basically built a profile as a power wing. Physically he looks like an NBA player. When playing the 3 he’s a fantastic rebounder. Has the frame, athletic skills, and experience to just hammer through the G-League or even play some for the Nuggets. Can be a Jeff Brooks type in Europe.
Detroit Pistons/Grand Rapids Drive
Luis Montero | 3.0 | Potential?
The thin wing has a lot of intriguing skills that percolate from time to time. He’s just got a really smooth game, most things look effortless. He’s a rebounder, passer, defender but has never really had a go-to scoring skill. If Montero can become a much higher rep spot up shooter, it would be a great compliment to his skill set and allow him more freedom to dip into his toolbox. The Dominican forward is also still quite skinny and will need to put on weight for a higher level.
Dwight Buycks | 1.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Buycks has played all over the world. Fast, score first guard. Always plays Summer League and kills it. He can dominate that style of basketball. Seems like this is a move to stabilize the G-League team and potentially give the Pistons a backup guard.
Golden State/Santa Cruz Warriors
Chris Boucher | 4.5 | Potential?
This was one of the first 2-way contracts you heard about, basically right after the NBA Draft. Even though Boucher suffered a season ending knee injury in March, he has that unique 3-point shooting and shot blocking ability that intrigued the Warriors. Going into last season Boucher was one of our top ranked Seniors, he fell a little bit after his game didn’t seem to expand that much. But those two tools still make him interesting. He’s going to turn 25 in January, quite old for a rookie.
Quinn Cook | 1.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Cook wants to give it one last go with trying to make the NBA. And there’s worse things than being the 16th man for one of the greatest NBA teams ever. But he just have the juice to be an NBA regular. His decision when he wants to jump to EuroCup.
Houston Rockets/Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Demetrius Jackson | 1.5 | Potential?
With a player like Jackson, I can tell you right now, I just don’t know. Athletically he’s a freak. I call him a running back because he just takes the ball and charges into the lane. Jackson was a 2nd Round pick last season, was on the Celtics all year but barely played and got a lot of burn for the Red Claws. His feel for the game started to enhance but there’s a long way to go. He’s not a PG, he just doesn’t really read the game. And sometimes he doesn’t have to as he barrels thru the defense with his speed and strength. But will that be enough to make the NBA?
Briante Weber | 1.0 | Fringe NBA
With the Rockets off-loading Patrick Beverley in the Chris Paul trade, they were surely looking for a replacement. You can scan all of basketball, and not find anyone closer than Weber. His intensity and nastiness makes him such a pest on defense. Briante is one of a kind. He’s been teetering on the NBA line for years.
Indiana Pacers/Fort Wayne Mad Ants
Alex Poythress | 4.5 | Fringe NBA
More of a wing at Kentucky, Poythress worked to reinvent himself in the G-League as a combo big. The inside-out skill is real, Poythress actually fulfills 4 and 5 position responsibilities. But he’s still raw and even though he’s undersized, right now he fits better as a 5 than a 4 at a high level. His jump shot is coming along but the decision-making and consistent handle need refining. As does getting more reps as an interior defender. But Poythress was one of the best prospects in the D-League last season, just a super athlete, played at the end of the season for the 76ers, and it made sense for Indiana to bring him back on a 2-way.
Edmond Sumner | 1. 0 | Potential?
Also on the wait and see list. Sumner tore his ACL in January and we still need to see his recovery. He was a big, athletic PG and will need to regain that same burst to be properly evaluated again. Was an NBA Draft prospect pre-injury.
LA/Agua Caliente Clippers
Jamil Wilson | 3.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Wilson spent 2 full seasons in the D-League and never got a call-up/10-day contract. He played one season in Europe for Torino, was inconsistent but showed flashes for a team that missed the Serie A Playoffs and gets a 2-way. Because of his frame, athleticism, and ability to stretch the floor, Wilson became a hot commodity in the off-season. Just tough to find guys that look like that in Europe and can really play as a 3/4 combo forward. Bamberg signed him to a Euroleague deal and then the Clippers scooped him up.
CJ Williams | 3.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Williams jumped from two solid seasons in Pro A and Serie A to the Texas Legends. After again, a solid D-League season he stood out for Team USA at the FIBA AmeriCup this summer. He’s a combo forward with strength and some playmaking ability. Really Williams is perfect for playoff teams in the European leagues he’s already played in but he provides the Clippers with a vet who can play some spot NBA minutes.
LA/South Bay Lakers
Alex Caruso | 1.0 | Fringe NBA
Caruso has always been a favorite at NXS (check 2016 PIT Report). That size and vision are hard to find. Caruso sees passing angles few else do. He’s a plus defender and with his size has some versatility. His outside shot and lack of speed were always flaws but the shooting has improved and his fit with BBB ball in LA is perfect. Likely has a standing ACB contract when he chooses.
Vander Blue | 1.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Blue has played three straight seasons for the Lakers D-League team and his only call up to the big club was a last week of the season 10-day contract in 2014-15. And again he went to training camp with the Lakers and didn’t make the team, so they gave him a 2-way. So it’ll be his 4th season for their now G-League team. Talented scorer, was D-League MVP last season. But at what point is it time to move on.
Memphis Grizzlies/Memphis Hustle
Kobi Simmons | 1.5 | Potential?
Playing just one season for Arizona and going undrafted, I need to see more of Simmons. The best memory I have of him is actually from Adidas Eurocamp 2015. He was an on-ball creator and pull-up shooter. Didn’t seem to be a PG but mainly created with the ball. He just turned 20 this summer and is a former 5 star recruit and Top 100 high school player.
Vince Hunter | 4.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Hunter is now see-sawing between Europe and the NBA/G-League. He is an energetic, undersized, athletic 4/5 who spent the end of his rookie season with Panathinaikos and most of last season with Avtodor Saratov. Hunter just tears rims off, James Gist style. He’s undersized and under-bulked, but has gained muscle mass in recent seasons. A big development is his shooting, which still isn’t consistent but he was knocking down corner 3’s at Summer League. The more 4 he can play it ups his stock.
Miami Heat/Sioux Falls Skyforce
Derrick Walton Jr | 1.0 | NBA Potential Rookie
Walton is just solid. He’s a super focused playmaker with a strong frame and a killer off dribble 3. Walton isn’t a consistent paint attacker but he handles pressure great and plays clutch. He’s a real PG. Tough to say if that’ll be enough to make the NBA but he’s the classic, won’t f-up too bad 3rd string NBA PG. Definitely one to watch more Europe.
Matt Williams Jr | 2.5 | Solid Rookie
Williams popped onto the radar at the Orlando Summer League. He wasn’t at PIT, Williams was a UCF player sitting in Miami’s backyard. He was just very confident in Orlando. Williams has a great frame for the wing and is comfortable on-ball player. Can also be used as a spot-up option. Having barely seen him in college, need to see how real his potential is in the G-League.
Milwaukee Bucks/Wisconsin Herd
Gary Payton II | 1.5 | Fringe NBA
Had partial year contracts with the Rockets and Bucks last season but played the full game slate for RGV Vipers. Payton is a oversized PG or playmaking wing. Super athlete, crazy vertical. He can’t really shoot and is more attacker than an organizing guard. Like his dad, he can be a pest on defense but doesn’t always crank up to Glove status. His athleticism likely gives him a couple more fringe NBA chances.
Joel Bolomboy | 4.7 | Fringe NBA
The former Weber State big man got a full years salary from the Jazz but basically just played D-League last season. He’s certainly still raw but Bolomboy has the attributes that make up a modern big. Firstly he rebounds the shit out of the ball. He’s long, athletic, and active. He lacks a real inside move and just general smoothness with finishes. But he does have an outside shot, even went 45.7% from 3 on 1.8 attempts a game. Bolomboy can still use some G-League time to iron out his game.
Minnesota Timberwolves/Iowa Wolves
Anthony Brown | 3.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Shooter. Has size and is a great open 3-point shooter. Has solid length for a wing. Would be more interesting if he could defend bigger and be a stretch option from the 4. Had 20 points a game in the D-League last season. Ready for overseas ball.
New Orleans Pelicans
Jalen Jones | 3.5 | Potential?
Watched over ten Red Claws games live last season and still can’t tell you exactly where Jones is headed. He’s inconsistent but when he’s rolling he would put up 30-point triple doubles. Jones game runs in bunches, his shooting goes hot and cold and his game relies a ton on smashing into the paint and getting foul calls. Jones went off at the Vegas summer league and earned this 2-way contract.
Charles Cooke | 2.5 | Solid Rookie
Also earned this spot via his Vegas play, the Pelicans have eyes out there in the Thomas and Mack Center. Cooke an athletic guard who showed better playmaking and ability to turn the corner at Summer League. His PIT performance wasn’t quite the same. Could have jumped to a playoff BBL team type situation but instead wanted to try the G-League.
New York/Westchester Knicks
Isaiah Hicks | 4.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
Power athlete. Hicks is a freak physically. He never totally figured it out at UNC but they did win the NCAA Championship with him as the starting PF. He just attacks, blindly. Hicks has shown to be more comfortable as a face-up attacker than a roll man or post up threat. A transition to center would help his Overseas market, as Hicks really doesn’t have the perimeter skills to play much forward on a high level.
Luke Kornet | 5.0 | Potential?
Stretch 5. Shoots 3’s and blocks shots at 7 feet. Not so mobile and his game is yes, not so diversified. The NBA is after bigs with blocks and 3’s but Kornet isn’t the athlete they are looking for. Still undecided on how his game translates.
PJ Dozier | 1.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
Part of the surprise South Carolina team that made the NCAA Final Four. Dozier, like others on his team, was an elite defender last season. He might have led the country in deflections. The team really didn’t have a PG so Dozier took a lot of the point responsibilities. He’s incredibly long with playmaking ability. His outside shot is his Achilles heel. Since he left college a year early, Dozier only just turned 21 and will likely stick around the fringe NBA/G-League circuit for a little while. Body still needs to fill out on such a long frame.
Daniel Hamilton | 2.5 | Fringe NBA
Hamilton had a super D-League season followed by a great Orlando Summer League performance. After playing only two years at UConn, Hamilton was one of the most productive young players in the D-League. What’s really intriguing about him is his on ball ability at his size, he even ran a fair amount of PG this summer. Adding weight and a consistent spot up shot could turn him into an NBA player.
Jamel Artis | 2.5 | Potential?
Artis really has the physical potential. He’s damn strong and tall for a guard. Even played a ton of PG at Pittsburgh. But Artis is a rookie who’s almost 25 years old, he’s very old for his class. And he has a panache for relying on long pull-up shots instead of attacking. But Artis can shoot, pass, and dribble on a pro frame. At his age, he’s got to pull-up it all together soon.
Adreian Payne | 4.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
After being a lottery pick three years ago Payne hasn’t done a lot since having a decent stint with the Timberwolves at the end of his rookie season. And he’s barely played D-League the past two seasons. So the jury is still out. He’s talented, a good outside shooter with incredible length. Now the production needs to fill in so we can found out who Payne really is or isn’t.
Philadelphia 76ers/Delaware 87ers
James Michael McAdoo | 5.0 | Fringe NBA
JMM has the most NBA experience of the 2-way players (3 NBA season of relatively real minutes). He’s a mobile, athletic center who’s always been liked by Coach Kerr. But his role with the Warriors was very limited, dunk, run the floor, and move on defense. With an expanded role in the G-League it will be interesting to see what he can really bring offensively.
Jacob Pullen | 1.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Pullen has been in Europe for years as the consummate score first, deep range shooting, short guard. Still hasn’t really found his home in Europe, he’s gone off with Brindisi and Cedevita but wasn’t quite the same for Barcelona and Khimki. Certainly can attempt to lead the G-League in scoring. But was surprised he and the team wanted to do a 2-way.
Phoenix/Northern Arizona Suns
Mike James | 1.0 | NBA Player
NBA player, has already shown that. Should get an NBA contract from the Suns soon enough.
Alec Peters | 3.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
Had a stress fracture in his leg in March and has been out since. Versatile, shooting 3/4. He was really coming on at the end of his junior season and in his senior season. If healthy he was one of the top seniors and could have been drafted. So I looking forward to Peters being back.
Portland Trail Blazers
CJ Wilcox | 2.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
The Blazers made a unique decision to sign 2-way players who have been cut and considered not NBA players by other NBA teams. In three NBA seasons he only played 68 games for the Clippers and Magic. Wilcox is an athletic wing who will turn 27 in December. Having only played a handful of games in the D-League and riding the NBA bench, Wilcox is a tough evaluation for me.
Wade Baldwin IV | 1.0 | Potential?
Baldwin was the 17th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. One year later the Grizzlies cut his guaranteed contract. Which is incredibly rare. He’s a slashing, athletic PG. Can Portland rehab him? Won’t be a perfect situation with the Blazers not having their own minor league club.
Sacramento Kings/Reno Bighorns
Jack Cooley | 5.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Had a super year with Ludwigsburg and looked like he could move up a level in Europe. Cooley decided to come back to the US where he has previously played D-League with the now defunct Idaho Bighorns. A bruising inside finisher, Cooley is a Euro player but brings the Kings a veteran big man who can fill in and help on an extremely young NBA team.
Jakarr Sampson | 3.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
One of the best basketball athletes in the world. Sampson is a freak leaper. He’s never totally found his role but as a combo wing who can attack and move around on defense he provides value. This is probably his last NBA chance. Because of a lack of shooting, he likely plays a bigger position if he jumps to Europe.
San Antonio/Austin Spurs
Matt Costello | 5.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
The Spurs of course did a great job with their 2-way selections. I’m not sure Costello has a ton of NBA potential but he’s proved over the last couple years that he does have a chance. Following up a super senior year and PIT 2016 performance, Costello was unfortunately injured for most of last year’s D-League season. He bounced back with an excellent Summer League. Costello just does his job. He’s a PnR screen set, rim roll monster who sucks in the defense as he charges towards the rim. Costello has evolved from a meat and potatoes workman big to one with some skill, passing in the mid-roll, a small amount of mid-range shooting. Can, and probably will, take the Mike Tobey route soon.
Darrun Hilliard | 3.0 | Fringe NBA
Hilliard was drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2015 NBA Draft but between injuries and the Pistons being stacked on the wing he didn’t get much of a real NBA chance there. In his few D-League games he did have some explosive shooting performances. Hilliard really impressed at the Americup this summer, he was Team USA’s go-to perimeter scorer. If not NBA, he’s easily a Euroleague prospect. Shooter with size and can pitch in with some playmaking.
Lorenzo Brown | 1.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Vet PG. Has now failed 2 medical examinations in Europe (Venezia, UNICS) yet NBA doctors have deemed him eligible to play. So while he could be a Euro PG, he hasn’t been allowed to yet. Went to China for half the season after UNICS deal fell through. Will make the defending D-League champs good but probably has come close to running out of his NBA chances.
Malcolm Miller | 3.3 | Potential?
The unheralded Holy Cross wing burst onto the scene for the Maine Red Claws as a rookie in 2015-16. He jumped to Alba Berlin last season but missed the first couple months of the season with a wrist injury, the team was inconsistent, and Miller never really found his groove. When he turns on his aggressiveness, his ability sky-rockets. Miller is an NBA athlete who can shoot and attack. But he’s a quiet scorer, only taking what’s given to him. He shouldn’t before games, so then he has to play hungry. (Miller just returned the court after missing the pre-season with an injury)
Utah Jazz/SLC Stars
Eric Griffin | 4.5 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
The Jazz went the vet route. Griffin is a super athlete who had a bounce back season in Israel (Galil Gilboa), although his team didn’t even make the playoffs. The idea of him has always been intriguing, a strong athlete who can shoot. He will make a big difference for a SLC team last year who wasn’t that good in their opening season. And he can provide some NBA spot minutes. He supposedly had a contract with Cantu signed in July but it didn’t go thru with Jazz spot on the table.
Nate Wolters | 1.0 | Vet Contributor/Overseas Player
Played for that fantastic Red Star team last season. Was a role player. He can run the offense, make great passes, and create off the dribble. Wolters can provide backup guard minutes for the Jazz and will navigate around whomever he wants in the G-League. Apparently the Jazz value veteran presence and relatively known commodities over young potential.
Devin Robinson | 3.5 | NBA Potential Rookie
Still not determined who the Wizard 2-ways will player for. Last season the Wizards had three undrafted rookies on minimum deals (Ochefu, McClellan, House) and with no direct D-League team, they all just rode the NBA bench all season. That’s not good for development and someone like Robinson really needs to play. He was considered a likely NBA Draft pick but went undrafted. Robinson is a smooth wing athlete who can really run and jump. Mainly a finisher, not much of an on-ball creator. Super defensive potential. But what role does he play right now? Interesting long-term prospect who is still raw. Even though he left Florida a year early, he’s the age of a senior, almost 23.
Michael Young | 4.0 | Solid Rookie
The tough 4-man did a lot of the dirty work for Pittsburgh in college. As an upperclassmen he really worked to develop his stretch shooting ability and Young went from 4 three-pointers made as a junior to 42 as a senior at a 34.4% clip. He’s a strong, true inside-out big. An NBA fit will be a stretch but Young is a great Euro fit, the type of big everyone wants. A real 4 who can play some 5.