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Nets convert David Duke Jr. to standard deal after declining to extend Moses Brown

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

After two years as a two-way player, David Duke Jr.’s contract has been converted to standard NBA contract. The Nets announced the move after declining to extend Moses Brown’s second 10-day contract.

The moves give the Nets 16 players: 15 on standard deals and Dru Smith on a two-way, leaving the second two-way deal open.

Duke, a Providence product, had played for the Long Island Nets both last season and this. In 22 G League games this season, the 6’5” wing averaged 22.6 points, good enough for fifth in the G League, on 48/32/81 shooting splits. He also registered 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 22 games. Just a few days ago, Duke finished third in G League MVP voting. Duke averaged 3.1 points, 1,0 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 21 NBA games.

Brooklyn had a roster spot open after not extending Brown who played only two games in his two ten-day stints. The 7’2” Brown, signed to back up Nic Claxton, wound up playing only garbage time as Day’Ron Sharpe played well in Claxton’s stead.

Brown also had a big disadvantage in that he could not play in the post-season while Duke Jr. can. Brown was signed and waived by the Knicks after the March 1 buyout deadline, making him ineligible.

The Nets did the same thing late last season in converting two-way rookie Kessler Edwards to a standard deal. The move will cost the Nets a minimal amount in luxury tax since the conversion this late in the season will add only a few thousand dollars to the Nets payroll.

The decision to convert will provide Duke with a number of advantages. The signing will give him a year of service as a NBA player. Should he sign a veterans minimum deal anywhere next season, he will be paid as a second year player. If the Nets had not converted his deal, he’d be treated as a rookie. The difference could amount to several hundred thousand dollars in added salary.