Photo Credits: Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images
When Josh Hall wrapped up his rookie campaign for the Oklahoma City Thunder, a return was not a certainty. However, as reported on Wednesday, he’ll be back in white-and-blue.
As first reported by Spotrac’s Keith Smith, the Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Josh Hall to a two-way contract. This deal marks the second-consecutive season in which Hall links with the Thunder via two-way contract, and it also fills the final available two-way slot — joining second-round selection Aaron Wiggins in that category.
Hall, age 20, did not hear his name called during the 2020 NBA Draft, but for the 6-foot-9 forward — he hit the undrafted market at the top of the leaderboard. Ranked as a consensus five-star prospect, Hall skipped the collegiate route in his venture to the draft opting to play prep-school ball over a flurry of Division-1 programs, including his hometown at NC State. In his time at prep school, Hall showed a knack for handling and finishing with the ball off a well-versed palate of moves. To top off his resume, Hall blazed by his frontcourt counterparts while even flashing a pull-up game, needless to say — he deserved to be drafted.
As a result of Hall’s draft-day debacle, a barrage of franchises hounded him with two-way and exhibit-10 offers, one of which had been Oklahoma City. Thunder GM Sam Presti made a quick first-impression with Hall, reportedly extending a two-way offer to the forward in the back half of the second round. This quick-fire offer may have ultimately swayed Hall’s heart as when it became decision-making time, he opted to join the Thunder on a two-way contract.
Hall found himself in a perfect situation under Mark Daigneault and company to kickstart the 2020-21 season, but as the season took full force, the injury bug came into full effect. Hall tip-toed through his way through the first two months of the season churning through the NBA’s Health-and-Safety Protocols until the February Orlando G-League Bubble handed him some light. Hall was expected to be a core member of the Oklahoma City Blue roster along with Aleksej Pokusevski, Ty Jerome, Moses Brown, and more, but a budding knee injury torched any opportunities as he placed a mere one game on subpar numbers. Once he returned to Bricktown — injuries continued to riddle him. Up until the Thunder’s final regular-season contest, Hall placed 20 games with no standout performances, that changed.
In Hall’s regular-season closer, he received a starting nod and a 40-minute stint in which the 20-year-old recorded 25 points and 10 rebounds. Throughout the contest, Hall lived up to all the hype slicing through on penetrations for contested conversions around the basket.
By the end of the 2020-21 season, Hall recorded averages of 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds across 21 games.
Hall had garnered a Qualifying Offer from the Thunder this month, but a recent collection of draft picks and trade acquisitions made Hall’s return uncertain putting a lot of emphasis on his Summer League play. In Hall’s first four contests, he lacked any eye-popping performances, but just as he did in the regular season, he saved his best for last posting 17 points and 7 rebounds against the Spurs.
After averaging 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in five games, Hall earned himself a two-way contract extension.
Hall hits next season permeating with potential just as he did last season. The former-five star rarely scathed the floor due to injury last season, so calling this his first genuine season is not a farfetched idea.
As a result of Hall’s signing, Oklahoma City had filled all but one roster spot and with 14 players and both two-way deals filled — only one 15-man spot is on the table. Among those in contention rest Charlie Brown Jr., Jaylen Hoard, Vit Krejci, and Gabriel Deck.