Story by KL Chouinard
Josh Magette hasn’t tried to solve his two-home, two-city housing issue just yet.
“I have not thought about that,” Magette said with a chuckle. “I’ll cross that bridge when we get there. That would be a good problem to have.”
The 6-foot-1 point guard may need a place to stay in both Erie, Penn. and Atlanta this season, the first in which the NBA has allowed ‘two-way’ contracts between an NBA team and its affiliate in the developmental G League.
Having signed with the Hawks as their first-ever two-way player, Magette figures to spend time in both places, even if the majority of his minutes come with the Erie BayHawks in their first season as the Hawks’ G League team.
“Hopefully it will happen a few times,” Magette added, “and I’ll get some experience with both teams.”
NBA teams have up to two roster spots for two-way players at any given time — in addition to the 15 players on their regular roster. Those two-way players can spend up to 45 days with their NBA team, not including any time prior to the start of G League training camp or the conclusion of a G League team’s season.
(In other words, if Erie’s season ends before Atlanta’s, Magette can be added to the Hawks roster regardless of how many days of his 45-day allotment he had already used.)
In addition, G League contracts can be converted into NBA contracts, provided that the team has an open spot on its 15-person roster, and two-way players may only be called up to the NBA to play for the team with which they signed their two-way deals.
To this point in his career, Magette has not yet appeared in a regular-season NBA game, but he did spend last preseason with the Hawks before being the final player cut prior to the start of the regular season.
“It’s nice to be back,” the 27-year-old said, “and see a lot of familiar faces. There isn’t the whole introduction process. You come in, you’re comfortable, and you’re able to pick up where we left off last year.”
After being waived by the Hawks last October, Magette went to work on adding to his already strong G League resumé. In addition to leading the league in assists for a second straight season, he was named Second Team All G League after averaging 15.8 points, 9.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
New Hawks point guard Quinn Cook knows Magette’s game well from frequent their head-to-head G League matchups.
“He’s one of the better point guards that I’ve faced since I’ve been a pro,” Cook said.
In addition, Cook said that he tries to emulate some of things Magette does, including the way Magette runs pick-and-roll plays on offense in a manner that forces the defensive hedging big man to stick with him for as long as possible.
“I try to take some stuff from this game,” Cook said. “How he reads the pick-and-roll, and how he drags the big and sets defenders up to get his teammate open shots. He has been doing a great job.”
Magette described his own role more directly.
“I’m a playmaker,” he said. “I create for others and get everybody involved, just kind of play an exciting style of game: up and down a lot.”
In addition, Magette knows that at age 27, with a couple of G League seasons under his belt, part of his job description is to mentor the newer G League players. He added that he wants to “make plays on the offensive end, knock down shots, and be a voice in the locker room for younger guys.”
Given that he has already had that role for a couple of seasons now, Magette shouldn’t have any trouble filling it. And, of course, if the Hawks need point guard depth at any point this season, he’ll be ready to make the trip from Erie to Atlanta.