AP source: NBA set to remove restriction on 2-way deals

Sports
Gabe Vincent, Fred VanVleet

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives to the basket as Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent (2) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI (AP) — The NBA has moved closer to a deal where players on two-way contracts would be eligible to appear on the active roster for as many games as their teams would like this season, a person with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday.

The proposal to lift what was a 50-game limit on the active roster for two-way players got overwhelming support Tuesday and is likely to be passed by the NBA’s board of governors, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because that final approval is pending. The approval is expected later this month.

No team has used two-ways more this season than Miami, with Gabe Vincent and Max Strus having a combined 42 appearances this season entering Tuesday’s game against Atlanta. Vincent has also been a part-time starter for the Heat, and Miami was one of the teams concerned that those 50-game appearance limits on the active roster was fast approaching.

“We all appreciate that they see that each team is in a different place,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We felt that we’ve competed in this season with great honor and respect to the league. … Our two-ways are playing for us. There are a few other teams that are in that circumstance. It’s just an uneven and unpredictable year for so many teams. Not even all the teams are in the same range of amount of games played up to this point, with all the postponements.”

The NBA relaxed the rule on two-way players for this season in anticipation of postponements and rosters being taxed by virus-related issues. The rule in past years has been that two-way players could spend 45 days with the NBA club and the rest of the time with a franchise’s G League team. But with a shortened G League season this year, and not all teams having clubs in that league this season, there were obvious reasons to change things.

Players on two-way deals are earning $449,155 this season.

“It just makes all the sense in the world to not have to even think about that or concern yourself with days, particularly when we are playing them,” Spoelstra said of the looming change. “It’s what’s fair to the teams. It’s what makes the most sense and is fair to the players. We are just glad that it was seen that way, objectively, because not everybody is in the same circumstance.”

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