The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are in talks to potentially add a third two-way spot to help teams weather COVID-19 outbreaks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league has already made changes to how two-way players — who do not impact team salary sheets — can be activated this season, increasing the number of games they can appear in to 50.
Significant discussion on league's call with general managers today about expanding rosters by allowing a third two-way contract slot this season, sources tell ESPN. That'll have to be worked out with NBPA, but there's momentum toward it.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 15, 2021
But with at least 16 players testing positive for the coronavirus over the past nine days, adding an extra two-way spot might help impacted teams continue playing during an outbreak.
And with the Washington Wizards announcing earlier today that six of its players had come down with the virus, every extra healthy body might help.
Six Wizards players, according to GM Tommy Sheppard, have tested positive for the coronavirus— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 15, 2021
The Portland Trail Blazers roster currently includes only one two-way player — Keljin Blevins. If a third two-way player became an option, the Blazers would be able to add two extra players before or during a coronavirus outbreak without vaulting the team into tax territory.
This would also allow the team to keep its 15th regular roster spot open to sign a player on a veteran contract and stay below the tax, following yesterday’s devastating wrist injury to Jusuf Nurkic.
Two-way contracts can only be signed by players with three or fewer seasons of service.