Magette gets new path to NBA with two-way contract

Josh Magette will be playing for something more this season.

Goodbye, Los Angeles.

Hello, Erie. And maybe, Atlanta.

After spending the past three seasons playing in the NBA G League with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Magette recently agreed to a two-way contract with the Hawks. The provision to the new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for a team to add a 16th and 17th player to the roster who will play mostly for the G League affiliate. That player can be on the NBA active roster for up to 45 days. Magette will play for Hawks’ new affiliate, the Erie (Pa.) Bayhawks.

When Magette learned of the new provision, he immediately wanted to pursue the career track. Shortly after the new CBA took effect on July 1, an agreement with the Hawks was reached. The Hawks have not yet announced the deal.

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“I thought it gave me the best opportunity to be an NBA player,” Magette said. “Obviously, I’d love to be on an NBA contract but maybe that’s not for everybody or meant to be. I felt like this gave me my best opportunity to get a foot in the door and get my game seen on that stage.”

This is not the first union between Magette and the Hawks. The 6-foot-1 point guard played with the Hawks in the Las Vegas Summer League last season and is again this season. Magette went to training camp with the Hawks last year and was the final cut. He was close to the NBA. Not close enough.

“I thought I had a good showing in training game last year going all the way down to the end,” Magette said. “I thought I played well. We really liked each other. When they reached out this summer, I thought it was meant to be.

“It would have been tough for me to do another year in the D-League with the salary and you are busting your butt for so many games and you are not getting compensated for it. When I saw that come out, I was hoping to be able to get on with somebody.”

With the two-way provision, Magette will only be able to sign an NBA contract with the Hawks. The team has the right to convert the two-way deal into a standard contract with the applicable minimum salary. He will be paid starting at a prorated amount of $75,000 for time spent in the G League, approximately $500 a day. If he spends more than 45 days on the Hawks roster, the contract converts to an NBA deal. The 45-day period does not include before the G League training camp and after the regular season.

The 27-year-old Magette averaged 12.6 points and 8.5 assists in his three seasons with the D-Fenders. He averaged 15.8 points and 9.3 assists last season and was named an all-star. Magette led the G League in assists in each of the past two seasons.

Even with the two-way agreement, Magette is playing summer league team again this year. He finished with seven points, three rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes of an opening loss to the Nets on Friday. He made both 3-point attempts, including one well past the line.

“Just to get familiar and get used to playing with some of the guys,” Magette said. “Continue to show what I can do so when the opportunity comes, they know what I’m capable of and how I like to play.”

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