The Houston Rockets have converted the training camp deals of rookies Shamorie Ponds and William McDowell-White into two-way deals according to Woj:
Sources: Charlotte is signing Virginia Tech guard Ahmed Hill to a two-way contract. Elsewhere, Houston has converted training camp deals for rookie guards Shamarie Ponds and William McDowell-White into two-way deals.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 4, 2019
The deal was primarily financial in nature, and here’s a pretty good explanation of the reasons by ESPN’s Bobby Marks:
Houston eliminated $1.8M in financial exposure when they converted the Shamorie Ponds and William McDowell-White contract into a Two-Way. Both players were originally signed on July 2 to a standard contract but did not have an Exhibit 9 in each contract. An Exhibit 9 protects the team in case a player suffers a long-term injury. For example, Houston would have owed $898K to Ponds if he suffered a season ending injury. The team would have been charged the cap hit plus a $700K+ tax variance. The exhibit was not allowed because the Rockets at the time did not have 14 players on the roster. Both Two-Way contracts would eventually be converted into a standard contract but this time with an Exhibit 9 attached. If either player suffers an injury during camp, Houston is now only responsible for $6K. The two players also have an Exhibit 10 in their contract allowing them to receive a $50K bonus if they spend 60-days with the Rockets G-League team in Rio Grande.
Both Ponds and McDowell-White were undrafted free agents that played for the Rockets in Summer League. Ponds, a 6’1” point guard from St. John’s, was thought of as a nice UDFA signing for Houston, but he struggled during Summer League, putting up just 7.2 points and 1.8 assists on 30 percent shooting, but is thought to have some potential.
McDowell-White, a 6’5” combo guard, tried playing at Fresno State, but after being declared academically ineligible, he instead played pro ball in his home country of Australia for the NBL. He then played in the German BBL before signing with the Rockets.
He played in Summer League, but didn’t see much action, averaging just 8 minutes per game.