In preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 NBA season, teams have been filling their rosters with talent, including two-way players. With the Orlando Magic bringing in new talent in Jordan Bone and Karim Mane.
Bone was selected with the 57th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and was on the books of the Detroit Pistons for the 2019-20 season, on a two-way deal. Mane spent 3-years at Vanier College and is making the step up to the professional ranks.
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.
Jordan Bone, a 23-year-old point guard, spent 3 years at the University of Tennesee. He had a breakout season as a junior, where he averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds. This was as Tennesee reached the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Tournament.
Foregoing his final season of college, Bone opted to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. Where he was selected with the 57th pick by the New Orleans Pelicans and was later traded to the Detroit Pistons.
The 6-foot-3 guard spent the majority of his rookie season in the G League. For the Grand Rapids Drive, he made 31 appearances and averaged 17.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1 steal. In those games, he shot 38.3% from 3-point land, on 6.5 attempts per contest.
On November 30, 2019, Bone scored a season-high 34 points (13-23 FG) in a 98-93 victory over the Texas Legends. In addition, he passed the 10+ assist mark 6 times through the season. He did show out for the Pistons in the NBA on 10 occasions too. Where he recorded 1.2 points in 5.3 minutes per game.
Bone certainly has the athleticism to compete at the top level. His flashy style of play allows him to be effective in isolation and in the pick-and-roll. He’s a strong scorer at the rim and is capable from range. As well as being a scorer, Bone is an unselfish player that frequently looks to find teammates.
The 23-year-old, however, doesn’t possess great length with a 6-foot-3 wingspan. That, and he does need to get stronger to compete in the NBA on a nightly basis.
The talent is certainly there though. Given he receives playing opportunities with the Magic, there’s plenty of upside with Bone due to his modern style of play.
Karim Mane is a 6-foot-5 guard, who spent 3 seasons at Vanier College in Quebec, Canada. Vanier is a post-secondary, pre-university institution that competes in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) league.
As a sophomore (2018-19), he was named the RSEQ Player of the Year, as Vanier held a perfect 16-0 record. As a junior (2019-20), Mane averaged 15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.1 steals. He led the RSEQ in assists, ranked 6th in steals, 7th in scoring, and 13th in rebounding. As Vanier accrued a first-place, 16-2 record.
His performances earned him Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association All-Canadian Team and All-RSEQ First Team honors, both for the second time. Mane then declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, where he fell undrafted. But the 20-year-old was soon snapped up by the Magic on a two-way deal.
Mane is a raw, well-rounded prospect, with a 7-foot wingspan, that is capable of playing both guard positions. Offensively, he has a versatile skill set that is highlight by various hesitation dribbles and changes of pace. His strong frame allows him to bulldoze to the rim and his quick release creates potential as a 3-point shooter.
As evidenced in his 5.4 assists as a junior, Mane can operate as a facilitator. Where he uses his own attacks to the basket to create for others. But, most importantly, the 20-year-old takes pride on the defensive end.
His impressive athleticism and wingspan, along with his strong frame, allows him to be a nuisance on the defensive end. He can compete out on the perimeter, with his wiry frame forcing errors. In the paint, he holds the capability to smoother opponents and frequently affects the trajectory of shots.
His defensive aggression and scrappy play do elevate his potential as an NBA player. He could receive game-time on that side of his game alone.
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