In preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 NBA season, teams have been filling their rosters with talent, including two-way players. With the Utah Jazz resigning Jarrell Brantley, and securing rookie Trent Forrest’s signature as well.
Brantley was part of a Salt Lake City Stars team that impressively built a 30-12 record in the 2019-20 G League season. Sitting top of the Western Conference by 3.5 games. While Forrest has just completed 4-years at Florida State University, going undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Players signed to a two-way deal spend the majority of the season in the G League. Normally two-way players are eligible to be called up to their parent team in the NBA for a maximum of 45 days per season.
With the 2020-21 season being shortened, two-way players can be active for up to 50 of the NBA’s 72-game schedule. Travel days and practices will not be included, as they have previously.
Jarrell Brantley spent 4-years at the College of Charleston, where he averaged 19 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 steals in his senior year. He was selected with the 50th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers, but was soon traded to the Utah Jazz.
Spending the majority of the 2019-20 campaign in the G League, Brantley played in 33 contests for the Stars. Posting averages of 18.9 points (team-high), 7.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.5 steals. On 51.6% shooting from the field.
On November 26, 2019, the 24-year-old forward scored a season-high 31 points in a win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Additionally, he scored 20+ points on 16 occasions throughout the campaign. At the conclusion of the season, he was named to the All-NBA G League First Team.
As part of his two-way deal, Brantley did feature in 9 NBA games (10.7 MPG) for the Jazz. Where he averaged 2.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. In the regular season finale, against the San Antonio Spurs, Brantley impressed. Scoring 13 points in 28 minutes, alongside 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.
Brantley stands at 6-foot-5 and possesses a huge 250-pound frame, to go with an impressive 7-foot-1 wingspan. Even with his size, he’s an agile, athletic player, who clearly holds offensive prowess. But can also switch well and guard multiple positions. Making him an interesting prospect for the Jazz to monitor over the 2020-21 season.
Trent Forrest showed out 137 times for Florida State at the collegiate level. In his senior year, he averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.9 steals. As he was named to the 2019-20 All-ACC Second Team and Defensive Team. In addition, he was one of 25 players selected to the Lefty Driesell Defensive All-American Team.
The 6-foot-4 guard is just the second player in Florida State history to record 1,100 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, and 200 steals. Where he ranks third overall in steals (224) and fifth in assists (455).
Forrest was not shy of the big stage during his college career. During the 2019 NCAA Tournament, he scored 20 points in the Sweet 16 against #1 seed Gonzaga. In the 2019-20 season, he was a big part of Florida State accumulating a 25-6 record, winning the ACC regular-season title, and earning a #4 national ranking.
In ACC conference play, he ranked second in steals. On February 10, 2020, Forrest had a standout performance, as he recorded 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 steals against Duke. With the Seminoles (2016-20), he shot 46.2% from the field, and 24.8% from 3-point land.
Forrest, at 6-foot-4, holds a reasonable frame for an NBA guard, along with a 6-foot-7 wingspan. He can make an impact on both ends of the court, but his defensive versatility stands out primarily. While his aggressive bursts to the rim to create looks for himself and others are eye-catching, his 3-point shooting may be a concern in the modern NBA.
It is also worth noting that the 22-year-old is a high off-the-court achiever. As he was named to the ACC All-Academic Basketball Team and ACC Academic Honor Roll for four-seasons straight.
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