While competing at NBA Summer League this past July, Jarnell Stokes revealed to RidiculousUpside.com that he turned down more than a handful of two-way contracts last season. Instead, feeling confident in his past minor league success, the former G League M.V.P. cashed in on a more lucrative deal in China.
Last season, if a prospect were to have spent the maximum time in the NBA as part of a two-way contract, their salary would have equaled out to about $275,000. The G League outlined salary increases for the upcoming season, allowing a prospect to earn up to $385,000 between NBA and G League time, with a base salary of $77,250 if they were not to get called up at all.
Stokes is still dreaming of a longterm NBA future, but said he felt as though his body of work to this point warrants a full-time big league gig, compared to the 45 days in The Association a two-way contracts allows. As he aims to keep that dream alive and prove his worth, Stokes will continue his quest by returning to the Miami Heat.
By accepting a training camp invite from Miami, Stokes becomes the sixteenth player under contract, not withstanding two-way signees Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten. Currently, Stokes might stand a fighting chance, but considering the team has open invitations to veterans Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem to sign on for the coming season (according to Ira Winderman), the odds may not be as much in his favor as camp nears closer.
By attending camp, the 24 year stands to earn an estimated $50,000 for his participation, a source tells RidiculousUpside.com. If Stokes were to be cut following camp and then opted to rejoin the Sioux Falls Skyforce, his camp earnings —- plus a standard G League salary of $35,000 —- would surpass the base amount of a two-way contract, but would still pale in comparison to the potential earnings such a pact would hold if the player spends time with the NBA affiliate. But alas, there are no guarantees that will happen and there stands the gamble for talented prospects.
Instead, Stokes will gamble on his own future and hope that he continues to prove he belongs. Such a showcasing of sorts is something that appears to be in his control. If nothing else, not being on a two-way contract will offer Stokes more flexibility. On one hand, if he makes Miami’s opening night roster, he’ll be a full-time NBA player with the hope of staying on board as long as possible and benefitting from greater earnings. On the other hand, if he gets cut following camp, Stokes can hope that his subsequent play in the G League will earn him a look (and contract) from another NBA team, as opposed to being confined to playing in the G League for as long as the Heat dictate as part of a two-way deal.