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5 Two-Way Prospects That Have Impressed In Early Preseason Play

Dakota Schmidt takes a look at which five two-way prospects have impressed in early preseason play.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kostas Antetokounmpo - Dallas Mavericks

Among the players that were under two-way deals entering the 2018-19 season, Mavericks prospect Kostas Antetokounmpo was likely looked at as the most raw of them all. That label dealt with how elementary his offense was at Dayton as the 6’10 forward was only able to score in transition or through offensive rebounds. Those offensive issues are the reason why he’s on this two-way deal despite his great frame, athleticism and solid defense.

Although he’s still a work in progress offensively, the 6’10 forward was able to shine in the Mavericks’ pre-season debut against the Beijing Ducks. In only 8 minutes, he had 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks on 4-5 from the field. Those points was largely due to his instant chemistry with young facilitators. In that above clip, he can see him work a pick-and-roll with Jalen Brunson to perfection and also finish with a big poster dunk at the rim after receiving a pass from fellow two-way player Daryl Macon.

Allonzo Trier - New York Knicks

This past Sunday, we posted a piece taking a look at both the positive and negatives regarding the possibility of the Knicks starting two-way prospect Allonzo Trier on the big league squad. Although we noted the lack of real negatives, it was unlikely for the team to make the decision until they got a chance to a bigger sample size of the Arizona alum.

Since that article, the Knicks have played two preseason games against the Nets and Wizards. In those first two contests, Trier has arguably been the best player on the whole team as he’s averaged 19 points and 3 rebounds on 58% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc on 2.5 perimeter attempts.

That tremendous play is due to him displaying a solid offensive arsenal as he was fantastic as both a perimeter/mid-range threat and on-ball driver. His skills as a driver led to him making various trips to the free-throw line as Trier is currently averaging 6.5 free throws per game.

As of this piece, the Knicks have three preseason games remaining until their regular season debut on October 17th. If Trier can maintain this level of production for those games, fans may not have an opportunity to watch the young guard play in the G League

Jordan McRae & Devin Robinson - Washington Wizards

As the oldest and most experienced player on this list, it’s no surprise that Wizards two-way player Jordan McRae impressed in his preseason debut. In Washington’s game against New York, he was perfect offensively as he put up 14 points on 5-5 from the field, 1-1 from 3 and 1-1 from FT line. At least in that game, McRae shined by hitting mid-range jumpers and making strong drives to the rim.

In addition to McRae’s excellent performance, fellow Wizards two-way player Devin Robinson was also solid in that initial preseason game. In 17 minutes, he had 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal on 4-5 from the field. From a scoring perspective, he really didn’t show anything new as most of his production came from off-ball cuts and a singular drive to the rim.

For Robinson, it’s going to be interesting to track him over the final three preseason games to see how he performs in other offensive areas. Facilitating will be one area to keep an eye on as its an area where he showed some progression while in Vegas Summer League. If Robinson shows some more promise in that area, he’ll become an even more fascinating player to watch when he’s with the Capital City Go-Go.

Alex Poythress - Atlanta Hawks

In his 3rd year as a pro, Alex Poythress will look to continue his progression as a two-way player with the Atlanta Hawks. The 6’9 forward had a great start by putting up 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assist and 1 steal on 6-11 from the field and 1-2 from beyond the arc in the team’s preseason debut against New Orleans. That solid stat line is the result of two years of incredibly hard work as the Kentucky alum has spent the last two years trying to become a more well-rounded offensive player.

The two major areas of growth for Poythress has been facilitating and perimeter shooting. His progression in both of those areas was evident from his play at the G League level he shot 36% from 3 and averaged 1.7 assists in a total of 52 games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Before he returns to the G League to play with Erie, the 6’9 forward will have four more preseason opportunities with the Hawks to show his progression in both of those areas.