Two-way contracts allow teams to carry two extra players on top of the maximum of 15 standard contracts on their regular season roster. These players often bounce back and forth between the NBA and G League, but they remain under team control and can't be signed away by other teams. In all, two-way players are eligible to be active for up to 50 of their team's 82 regular season games.
Now 24 years old, Fernando is a 6-foot-10 big man who offers a more athletic alternative to 7-foot-4 veteran Boban Marjanović. Both are potential bakcup options for head coach Stephen Silas to utilize behind new starter Alperen Sengun. Earlier this week, The Athletic's Kelly Iko reported that Fernando was one of two defensive standouts in training camp alongside rising star Jalen Green.
Fernando, selected at No. 34 overall in the 2019 NBA draft, averaged 6.9 points (70.7% FG) and 4.0 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game with the Rockets last season. He was acquired by Houston as part of the February trade that sent Daniel Theis to Boston and re-signed in the offseason to an Exhibit 10 contract, which effectively served as a 2022-23 training camp invitation. Based on today's conversion news, Fernando appears to be making the most of that opportunity.
As things currently stand, Fernando and rookie guard Trevor Hudgins are Houston's two-way players for the 2022-23 season. The Rockets had Trevelin Queen and Anthony Lamb in those spots to finish 2021-22, but Queen signed with Philadelphia as a free agent and Lamb doesn't appear to be in the team's plans - at least not at the NBA level - after a disappointing showing at summer league. Lamb could still be a G League option for Houston's Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Vipers affiliate, which is where he played most of last season.
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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire