The deadline to sign free agents to two-way contracts was Jan. 15. The Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, did just that by signing Amile Jefferson on the last possible day.
Jefferson, who played on the Minnesota Summer League team after going undrafted out of Duke, was on the training camp roster and has played 22 games for the Iowa Wolves this season.
Two-way contracts were added this season to financially incentivize fringe NBA players to stay stateside. This unique style of contract pays a player a base salary of $75,000 for the time he plays in the G-League and then a pro-rated payment of the NBA minimum salary – $815,615 for Jefferson – for each day he is with the NBA team.
Days with an NBA team includes days on the active list for an NBA game or days he engages in practice, drills, conditioning, workouts or travel with the NBA team.
If signed before the season — as Anthony Brown, the Wolves’ other two-way contract signee — a two-way player can spend 45 days in the NBA. If signed mid-season, as Jefferson was, the amount of days is pro-rated.
With Minnesota having already played 45 games this season, Jefferson’s pro-rated eligibility is 24 days.
Two-way contracts can be converted to full-season, guaranteed deals at any point of the season. If/when Jefferson’s 24 days expire, Minnesota will have another decision to make on the 6-foot-8 forward who is averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds per game for the Wolves G-League affiliate while shooting 63.2 percent from the field.
Currently, Minnesota has one open roster spot. If not eventually used on Brown or Jefferson, the Wolves could also fill that spot by way of trade or free agency.
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