The Charlotte Hornets are signing guard Marcus Paige and forward Mangok Mathiang to two-way contracts, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:
Source: @hornets signing UNC's Marcus Paige and Louisville's Mangok Mathiang to two-way contracts. Story coming.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) August 1, 2017
For those unfamiliar, two-way contracts allow teams to sign two players with less than four years of experience to contracts where they will spend most of their time in the NBA G-League, but can be called up to the NBA for up to 45 days. It means Paige and Mathiang will spend most of the season with the Greensboro Swarm, but the Hornets can call them up should an injury occur or if the team wants to see how they fare in the NBA for a brief stint. It gives the Hornets incentive to invest in players that need developing without having to give up a regular roster spot, which means the 14th and 15th spots on the roster can go to more NBA-ready players.
Both players are familiar names. Paige played four years at North Carolina before he was selected 55th overall by the Brooklyn Nets in 2016. The 23 year old was dealt to the Utah Jazz, who signed him to a multi-year contract last August, but then cut him in October. He signed for the G-League affiliate and played 46 games for them last season, starting in 40, averaging 12.1 points and 2.3 assists per game, shooting a below average 39.8 percent from the field, but a respectable 35.4 percent from the 3-point line. In eight games between the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues this past summer, Paige averaged 10.9 points and 3.9 assists, shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from deep.
Mathiang hails from Louisville, where he went undrafted this past June. The 24 year old played for the Hornets in Orlando this summer, averaging 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds a game. A strong presence in the paint, Mathiang was active under the glass particularly on the offensive end, which resulted in second chance points for the Hornets.
The details of their contracts are unknown at this point, but two-way contracts run between one and two years, and players can make up to $279,000 per season, which far exceeds the $75,000 the highest paid G-League player not on a two-way contract can make.
It’s important to note that Paige is not necessarily the Hornets 3rd point guard. Mathiang and he make up the 14th and 15th spots in the roster, but because of the two-way rule, they can sign two more players. I’d lean to the final spots going to veterans, unless a younger talent slips through the cracks, ends up with the Hornets in training camp, and makes the roster. But for now, Paige and Mathiang are the latest additions to the Hornets/Swarm.