When in the NBA, a player with a two-way contract will accrue a day of service and make money consistent with an NBA rookie minimum...

Those are the words that struck me to ask:

whether NBA players who sign 10 day short term contracts, classified as employees or independent contractors?

My Opinion

From reading the articles , it seems like they are employees because of their inability to move freely to other teams because

  1. teams have a the right but not the obligation to sign the players
  2. "But the other reason agents are wary of two-way contracts is that it restricts the player’s freedom of movement. Players who once could be called up by 30 different NBA teams now are linked exclusively with just one — and on a limited basis, at that." But it’s not the perfect solution it may seem

My Research / Background

Short Term Contract

How do short term contracts work in the NBA?

two-way contract

Article on Short Term Contracts

NBA  short term contracts


The Planes, Trains And Automobiles That Begin 10-Day Contracts

How the NBA's new 2-way contracts work and why some agents are worried about them

In the new collective bargaining agreement, the league has introduced two new roster slots where teams can sign players to “a two-way contract,” which allows them to spend a finite amount of time with their respective NBA team and the rest of their season with a G-League affiliate.

1 Answer 1


My understanding is that NBA players are classified as employees in this situation, but I have not seen any direct tax authority to that effect.

My conclusion is largely based upon the fact that state and local governments often impose taxes on professional sports players for the earnings they make while in their city and state at away games as employees. But, I have seen those reports only in secondary sources which do not always respect the niceties of tax law terminology.

One doesn't have to have a long period of employment to be an employee.

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