Bullets centre Will Magnay signs with Pelicans

Australian centre Will Magnay is finalising a two-way deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told ESPN.

The Brisbane Bullets big-man garnered interest from at least five NBA teams -- including the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, sources said -- but it set to officially sign a two-way contract with the Pelicans over the weekend.

"I'm really excited to start the next chapter of my career with the NBA," Magnay said. "It's a dream come true and I'm very thankful for the opportunity they've given me.

"I would like to thank my teammates and the basketball fans who have been amazing in supporting and encouraging me. I hope they can continue to do so, despite the times difference."

Magnay, a 6'10 big-man out of Queensland, averaged 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks over his 2019-20 NBL season with the Bullets, walking away with the league's Most Improved Player award.

The 22-year-old led the NBL in blocked shots over the course of that season.

The Bullets had been proceeding as though Magnay wouldn't be with the team since the start of the preseason, sources told ESPN, with the club on Saturday confirming his departure from Brisbane.

"We are thrilled for Will to be rewarded with this well deserved opportunity," Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said.

"As a club, we're extremely proud of Will who has proven that with hard work, the right attitude and strong values you can get to the NBA. All young basketballers in Queensland should take heart from this and be inspired to follow their basketball dream.

"Will is the second player in four years, along with Torrey Craig, to go from the Bullets to the NBA. This is a tremendous endorsement of our club and the quality of the NBL. We wish Will every success with the next part of his journey."

The 2020-21 NBA regular season is set to tip off on December 22 (ET).

Two-way contracts were put in place for NBA teams to carry two extra players on top of the 15 on a regular season roster. The expectation is that two-way players spend most of their time with the team's NBA G League affiliate, but there's skepticism around whether the G-League season will even take place because of the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Undrafted in 2018, Magnay went on to sign a three-year deal with the Bullets, becoming a rostered player in his second season after spending time as a development player. The most recent NBL campaign was considered the centre's breakout season, and he went on to sign a two-year deal to remain with the Bullets.

Instead, he'll be joining the Pelicans on a two-way contract, going into a season where that style of deal is regarded to have more significance than previous years. Magnay will be one of the Pelicans' two two-way players, alongside Xavier Forward Naji Marshall.

The Pelicans have been busy during the 2020 off-season, signing Stan Van Gundy as head coach, before trading away Jrue Holiday in a four-team deal that saw them bring in -- and extend -- Kiwi centre, Steven Adams. The team is coming off a season that was largely centred around 2019's No. 1 overall pick, Zion Williamson.

Magnay's next step, sources said, is a trip to Sydney in order to submit his visa application. Training camps are expected to begin on December 1.