What is a Two-way Contract in The NBA? A Beginner’s Guide


National Basketball Association (NBA) is the most loved league globally, and every basketball player dreamt of playing in this league. However, only some people’s dream gets fulfilled to play in this big league. This league provides an opportunity for players across the world to compete against each other. Over the years, many players tried their fortune, passed, and failed in the league. However, many players missed the opportunity or got overlooked at times.

In the season of 2017-2918, NBA comes up with a solution to address the issue. The association initiated a two-way contract deal allowing players to represent the undrafted NBA teams. The NBA two-way contract deal is a relatively new evolution in the league. This process quickly becomes an important tool for teams looking to develop new talents.

What is a Two-way Contract in The NBA?

Introduced by the NBA in the 2017-18 season, a two-way contract is a unique player agreement that bridges the NBA and its minor G league.

NBA Two-Way Contract Benefits

According to the G League, each NBA team can have two players on this type of contract. This contract allows the teams to keep young players on their roster and entitles them to a game time in the G League.

During the regular season, an NBA team can have 15 players on official contracts as of May 2023. As per the NBA, two players on a two-way contract can be added, which expands every team’s roster to 17 player slots. But teams can still have only 15 active players listed for each game.

How Does a Two-Way Contract Work in The NBA?

How does a two-way contract work

While mainly playing for their G League affiliate, a player can spend up to 45 days with their team under this contract. Offering them beneficial developmental opportunities and exposure to the NBA environment, this contract enables teams to retain the rights to a player who hasn’t yet established a full-time spot on the NBA roster.

From participating in any postseason game, these players were restricted. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the occurrences changed when the league allowed two-way players to play in the 2020 playoffs. However, to play in the NBA playoffs, they are only eligible if they are on the team’s active roster for at least 45 days.

There are also some limitations to being a two-way player because every player is not eligible for this contract. According to G League, players who have a professional experience of three years or fewer are eligible for the contract. With their NBA team, two-way contract player slots are only eligible to be active in a maximum of 50 games. For young talents, it allows them to show their skills at both the NBA and G League levels.

Benefits of two-way contracts for players and teams


By signing a two-way contract, there are several benefits for both players and teams. For players developing their skills in the G League, the contract allows them to get game time in the NBA. Players entitled to the two-way contract are paid a salary based on their time spent in the NBA and G League.

According to the NBA Board of Governors- “For the 2021-22 season, each two-way player will be paid a flat salary equal to 50% of the minimum player salary applicable to a player with zero years of service.” The two-way contract players now have an increased salary from $81,995 to $449,155.

While the team benefits, without committing to a full-time contract, they can keep young players on their rosters.

For player development and roster management, the two-way contract benefits both the teams and players. Two-way contracts remain an essential element in shaping the future of professional basketball as the league continues to evolve.

Sohel Ansari
Sohel Ansari
Sohel Ansari, a seasoned US Sports author at Sportzhive, blends fervor into captivating coverage, channeling insights from elite platforms across NBA, MLB, and NFL, echoing Kobe Bryant's 'Mamba Mentality' in his transformative writing journey. 🏀⚾🏈


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