The Detroit Pistons have signed undrafted rookie Derek Willis to a one-year contract, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.
There is no indication if the deal is fully or partially guaranteed or if Willis is the first two-way contract signed by the Pistons.
Update: Per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, it’s actually neither. Willis signed a contract as an affiliate player. That means Willis gets a camp invite with Detroit and is automatically slotted to go to the Grand Rapids Drive in the G League and he doesn’t need to enter the G League draft.
The Pistons do not retain his rights, however, and he can be called up by any of the 30 NBA teams if he shows promise with the Drive. He could also still opt to sign a deal in another league should he get interest overseas.
Willis played four seasons at the University of Kentucky, averaging 7 points and 5.4 rebounds. He also shot 39 percent from 3 in college. You can check out his full college stats at Sports Reference. At 220 pounds, 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot reach he is a tweener forward that projects to play mostly at small forward in the pros.
A two-way contract allows a team to retain the rights to a player without him counting against the 15-mean roster or the salary cap. The player’s salary is dependent on which he league he is in at any given moment between the NBA and the G-League. Teams can have up to two players on two-way contracts.
As HoopsHype outlines:
The NBA season is split into 170 days, and a player on a two-way deal can only spend 45 days with their NBA team receiving the minimum salary, which is set at $815,615 for the 2017-18 season. The rest of the 125 days, the player will be payed at the rate of their G League salary capped at $75,000. In a best case scenario, the salary math works out to roughly around $280,000.
If the deal is a fully guranteed deal to be on the Pistons that would mean the roster stands at the maximum of 15 players.
In researching more about Willis I did find a couple gems on Twitter.
Going to be a Detroit Piston !— Derek Willis (@derek_willis33) July 20, 2017