The Charlotte Hornets front office has been a common target for ridicule over different forms of basketball buffoonery. That’s why when they do something especially savvy, no matter how small, we’re going to put it in the spotlight.
One of those feats was touched on by John Hollinger in a piece for The Athletic. The kudos centered around the flurry of moves and contract conversions the Hornets used to turn the Exhibit 10 (summer contracts) of Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels into multiyear NBA deals.
Kudos to Charlotte’s front office for a new twist on two-ways in the final days of preseason. Teams have become much sharper about using two-way contracts to manage their rosters in training camp, but the Hornets unveiled a previously unseen trick twice this week: Charlotte used a 2-way spot to deftly convert the one-year non-guaranteed deals of both Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels into multi-year minimum contracts without waiving them. How’d they do that? Well, a training camp deal with an Exhibit 10 can be converted into a 2-way contract at any time. Once it’s a two-way, the team can then sign the player to a new NBA contract at any time.
Here’s why those moves were so clever—McDaniels and Martin were on Exhibit 10 deals. Those deals are typically signed with the expectation that the player will be waived at the end of camp before signing with the team’s G League affiliate. If that player happens to make the team, they play out the season on a one year deal. The only way to sign that player to a longer deal is to waive them and then negotiate a new deal.
Unless you do what the Hornets did. Players on Exhibit 10 deals can be converted into two-way contracts. Players on two-way contracts can have their deals converted into new NBA contracts. Essentially the Hornets opened the door for new negotiations without subjecting their players to waivers, where they could be scooped up by any teams.
So props to Mitch Kupchak and his front office. You’ve been hitting on your draft picks, and now you’re finding loopholes in the NBA rules to retain your players. That’s how you gain trust from a fan base that has been hurt many times in the past.