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CEDAR FALLS — Despite not hearing his name called during Thursday night’s NBA draft, former Northern Iowa standout AJ Green has verbally agreed to terms on a two-way contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“It’s a blessing for sure. It’s very exciting and it’s obviously something I’ve wanted my whole life,” Green told The Gazette. “To know that this is the beginning of the journey, we’ve partially made it, but there’s more left to do is just very exciting and motivating for me.”
A two-way contract stipulates the player signed may not spend more than 45 days up with their respective NBA team. Therefore the player spends the majority of their season in the G League. Two-way players are paid a corresponding daily amount dependent upon the number of days they play in each league.
Green said a few teams called his agent during the second round of Thursday night’s draft with interest in selecting him and signing him to an Exhibit 10 contract, but given his multiple workouts with the Bucks and their offer, going undrafted to Milwaukee was his best option.
“It was kind of just a continuous back-and-forth between them and my agent and myself,” Green said. “As the draft got closer we talked about the possibility of a two-way and working that out, so I was hoping to go undrafted last night so that I’d be able to sign with them.”
The Wisconsin Herd are the Bucks’ G League affiliate. The Herd reside in Oshkosh and went 8-24 this past season.
Former Iowa State (2017-2019) guard Lindell Wigginton played for the Herd on a two-way contract in 2021-22, but now is a restricted free agent.
More familiar to Green is former UNI guard and video coordinator John Little, who’s an assistant coach for the Herd.
“I’ve known (Little) for a while now and he actually was running the workouts I had with the Bucks, so I got to catch up with him and talk to him there,” Green said. “He’s a great dude and very good at what he’s doing with the Herd in what he does developing players. It’s great to have Panther connections around me in the NBA with a few other guys and then especially with the Bucks.”
The two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year said he’ll head to Milwaukee next week to begin workouts before heading to Las Vegas early next month for the NBA Summer League.
Beyond the attractiveness of Milwaukee’s two-way contract offer, Green said the Bucks’ vision for his development also was a big part of his decision.
“They see me as somebody who can space the floor and make shots for them,” Green said. “They’ve had some guys in the past that have had similar roles — like Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen — so trying to develop and work my way into something similar like that. I feel good about my ability to make shots and space the floor.
“Obviously, everything is kind of up to me to take advantage of opportunities and continue to grow and develop.”
Milwaukee plays its first NBA Summer League game on July 8 at 6 p.m. (NBA TV).