The day finally came for Derrick Walton Jr. who has played the best basketball of his career since February.
The Miami Heat signed the former Michigan point guard to a two-way contract on Monday evening.
A two-way contract allows players to split time between a team’s NBA roster and its NBA G-League affiliate team throughout the season. While this does essentially make a 16th and 17th spot on an NBA roster, the athlete can only be with the NBA team for a 45-day period. The remainder of the campaign must be spent in the G-League.
For Walton, the two-way contract will total up $75,000, compared to $26,000 rounded total for a one-way G-League player. The minimum NBA rookie contract totals up to $816,000 while with the NBA team, meaning, if Walton were to spend the maximum 45 days he could make up to $279,000 by the end of that time period.
The 6-foot-1 guard had an impressive NBA Summer League showing for the playing time he received. With the Orlando Magic’s summer league squad, Walton averaged 10 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per contest. From the field, he shot 46.9 percent (15-for-32) and 50 percent (6-for-12) from 3-point distance.
Walton was the catalyst for Michigan in the final two months of the 2016-17 season. He was the leader for the Wolverines on their journey to a Big Ten Tournament title and Sweet 16 bid. In his senior season as a whole, Walton averaged 10.7 points, 4.6 boards and three assists per outing.
The Sioux Falls Force is the G-League affiliate to the Heat that Walton will play for. The Force’s schedule has not yet been released.