The Miami Heat announced that they have sent both of their players on two-way contracts — Derrick Jones Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr. — back to the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Two-way contracts allow NBA teams to have 16th and 17th roster spots for players to spend up to 45 days with their team and the rest of the season in the developmental league. Jones Jr. has seven NBA days left on his contract, while Walton Jr. has five.
Aside from saving their limited time remaining with the Heat, this move also indicates that Tyler Johnson is fully over the sprained ankle injury that caused him to miss five straight games earlier this month. Johnson started at shooting guard and played 21 minutes in Saturday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Both Walton Jr. and Jones Jr. have contributed with injuries to players like Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, James Johnson and Justise Winslow. Of the two, Jones Jr. has the best chance of remaining on the team — with his athleticism and performance showing the potential to become a good “3-and-D” player.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported earlier that the Heat may convert Jones Jr.’s contract into a standard contract after the Feb. 8 trade deadline. After players have used up all their 45 days, they can either stay in the developmental league or join the NBA team as one of the 15 roster spots. The Heat would need to free up a roster spot in a trade (most likely candidate being A.J. Hammons) to have Jones Jr. remain on the team.