While former LSU Tigers Trendon Watford and Javonte Smart didn’t hear their names called in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, both are getting their shots at making an NBA roster.
Watford signed a two-way deal with the Portland Trailblazers while Smart signed a deal with the Miami Heat.
Watford’s contract provides a little more guaranty than Smart’s. A two-way deal means a player can bounce back and forth between the parent club and its G-League affiliate. Per the G-League a player will spend no more than 45 days with their NBA team, the rest of that time they will be in the G-League.
Where it gets tricky for Watford is Portland is the only team in the NBA who doesn’t have its own G-League affiliate so he may bounce around a few different places while he hopefully works his way toward becoming a full-time member of the Blazers. Still, a two-way deal is a precious commodity. Teams are only allowed to hand out two two-way contracts, so that speaks to what Portland sees in Watford.
Smart will have his chance with the Heat as an undrafted free agent and will be on Miami’s Summer League roster.
Smart and Watford should look no further than to former Tiger Naz Reid who also went undrafted in the 2019 draft but impressed so much in Summer League and for Minnesota’s G-League affiliate that he now has a fully guaranteed, four-year deal with the Timberwolves.
Summer League is set to begin August 8 and run through August 17. The games will once again be played in Las Vegas. All 30 teams will play five games and the two teams with the best record after those games will play a championship game on the 17th.