He led the Pac-12 in scoring, but that wasn’t enough to convince an NBA team to select him last night, as the two-round NBA Draft concluded without Robert Franks hearing his name called. However, The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting that Franks has signed a two-way deal with the Charlotte Hornets.
A two-way contract is a pretty solid outcome for Franks, as it offers much more security than simply a Summer League tryout. Per the G League:
NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and no more than 45 days with their NBA team. Two-Way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.
A notable two-way player in 2017-18 was Quinn Cook, who played for both the Santa Cruz Warriors and Golden State Warriors, where he eventually won a championship. He then spent all of this season on the Warriors’ regular roster.
Going undrafted wasn’t a wholly surprising outcome for the Washington State Cougars star, given that he was ranked near the bottom of a handful of top 100 prospect lists or not ranked at all, but it still was disappointing that there wasn’t a team that fell in love with the sharpshooter.
Franks is an interesting prospect, however, in that he possesses an NBA-level skill with his shooting, but there are presumably questions about who he can guard on the defensive end. He is ostensibly a forward, but Franks only measured 6-foot-7 without shoes at the NBA G League Elite Camp. (He measured 6-8.75 while wearing some apparently very thick shoes, though.) His wingspan, however, measured a whopping 7-3, leading to a standing reach of 9-2. I find it hard to believe that someone won’t want to get a closer look at him.
Another route would have been to simply sign a professional contract overseas immediately, a move that would prove more financially lucrative in the near term. But the two-way contract means Franks is already on the fringes of the NBA, and that’s a really good place for him to start.
Best of luck to Franks. He was a bright spot in an otherwise cringeworthy era of Cougar basketball.
In a side note to the draft news, Aron Baynes got traded to the Phoenix Suns for a draft pick, roughly one week after opting into another year with the Boston Celtics. His expiring contract was attractive — both for the Celtics to shed salary as they try to figure out what to do after whiffing on Anthony Davis, and for the Suns who are rebuilding and presumably would like to spend that money next summer.
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