If you remember reading this article that I wrote last week, I talked about the importance of free agency. In that article, I defined the terminology around the free agency. This week, the Celtics signed with 26-year old Walt Lemon, Jr. This not only makes for a great opportunity for me to talk about the role of the two-way contract and roster slot, but it’s also a GREAT move by the Celtics.
In a two-way contract, the player will act as the 16th or 17th roster slot for the team they sign with. They can spend up to 45 days with the NBA team that signs them, but no playing time is necessarily guaranteed. The player spends their remaining time in the G-League. The main problem or deterrent from this kind of contract for players is the money: their salary comes on a tiered system, and often, they could be making more money overseas. The main benefits are the influx of talent represented in the G-League, and the availability of 16th and 17th players on teams’ rosters. Celtics fans may remember that these slots proved necessary for the injury-ridden team this past season.
Walt Lemon, Jr. went to Bradley University for 4 years. He also played professional basketball for a few teams in overseas in Europe. He played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA G-League, then he made his NBA debut with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Now that WLJ is officially with the Celtics, there is one more two-way contract slot at the Celtics’ disposal. Since Kadeem Allen was waived on July 15, my best guess is Jabari Bird, or a completely random person we don’t see coming.
Image via Amico Hoops.