After Jeremy Lin was officially waived by the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, there was much speculation about the future of the backup point guard position. Lin had served in a particularly important role as a veteran presence off the bench behind rookie sensation Trae Young, but it was unclear what general manager Travis Schlenk and his staff would do after Lin asked for and received a buyout from the team this week. The answer arrived Wednesday in the form of Jaylen Adams’ conversion from his Two-Way contract:
The Atlanta Hawks are converting the two-way contract of rookie guard Jaylen Adams into a regular NBA deal, league sources tell ESPN. Adams will get a partial guarantee on the 2019-20 season. Adams was undrafted out of @BonniesMBB.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 13, 2019
Adams has been with the club since the summer, when he filled one of the team’s two Two-Way slots in July. He hasn’t had much of a chance at the NBA level so far this season due to the play and availability of both Young and Lin, but the team likes what he’s been able to do at the G League level with the Erie Bayhawks this season and have called him up to the full roster as a result.
Before Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, head coach Lloyd Pierce told assembled media that the plan was for Adams to take over the backup point guard responsibilities as soon as he was healthy. After injuring an ankle in Erie’s game against the Lakeland Magic on Feb. 8, he was called up to the Hawks but was unable to feature in the two games over the weekend nor against the Lakers. He’s probable to play on Thursday against the New York Knicks in Atlanta’s final contest before the All-Star Break.
The Hawks now stand at 13 players and will still need to sign a minimum of one more before Feb. 21 in order to be in compliance with the league’s roster rules. The club will not be able to fill the Two-Way spot vacated by Adams, as teams are not allowed to sign a player to a Two-Way contract after Jan. 15 in a given league year.
Per ESPN’s report, Adams will also have a partially-guaranteed salary for 2019-20, which gives the team more flexibility in the summer to retain him or let him go, depending on how free agency and the trade market plays out for the Hawks. How much of that salary is guaranteed will also be noteworthy, because if Adams received more than $50,000 guaranteed for 2019-20, then he would no longer be eligible to be converted to a Two-Way contract next year.