No Two Ways About It
May 16, 2018
With the trade deadline over, NBA teams will be looking to their two-way players to step up as they seek to make their bids for the Playoffs
The introduction of two-way contract players this season in the NBA is a source of comfort for aspiring NBA players and also for their respective teams. This new scheme allows NBA teams two additional roster spots each, with the flexibility of assigning them to the G League but also the certainty of a one-to-one affiliation. Similarly for the players, this opens up 60 more NBA contracts and a more assured future.
With the recent conclusion of the trade deadline, teams will be hoping to rely more on their existing roster to step up as they chase playoffs berths. This season, the two-way contract players will provide another avenue for teams to gain an advantage. Here are some players who could potentially make an impact for title contenders as they seek a breakthrough.
Luke Kornet (New York & Westchester Knicks): Kornet is the epitome of the new-age ‘stretch five’ as a 7-footer with both a feathery outside jumper and a knack for blocking shots. Having experienced such phenomenal success with Kristaps Porzingins, the Knicks will hook for a similar transition for the Vanderbilt product.
Jabari Bird (Boston Celtics & Maine Red Claws): As a former high-profile prep prospect, Jabari Bird spent four years at Cal and transformed himself entirely as a player. From a scorer relying on his size and athleticism, the 6-foot-6 guard has turned himself into a defensive stopper. His intensity and drive allows him to specialize in guarding shooters on off-ball screens, as a perfect fit for a defensive-minded Celtics team.
Marcus Paige (Charlotte Hornets & Greensboro Swarm): UNC’s trusty floor general has returned to Charlotte and is a favorite among hometown fans. Supporters of the collegiate game will recognize his cerebral playmaking within the pick-and-roll as well as the same smooth lefty jumper that almost led his school to the national title in the 2016 NCAA Finals before Kris Jenkins broke Tarheel hearts with his game-winner.
Article written by Wong Chin Yi. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the NBA.