Sources: Suns PG Mike James to be first player to graduate from 2-way contract to regular deal

The Phoenix Suns are converting the two-way contract of rookie guard Mike James into a regular NBA contract on Thursday, league sources told ESPN.

James, a 27-year-old rookie, is the first two-way player to have his deal converted in this manner. Two-way deals -- which allow for a combined NBA and G-League affiliate contract -- were introduced into the NBA this season as part of the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement.

The Suns plan to create a roster spot for James on Thursday morning, league sources said. Barring a trade, the Suns could choose to waive forward Derrick Jones Jr.

Two-way contracts are paid on a smaller scale, and James will have exhausted his 45 days on an NBA roster on Thursday, which is counted from the first day of G-League training camp. James made a projected $213,000 on the two-way contract, and he could make $580,607 on a minimum NBA contract for the balance of the 2017-18 season.

James has averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 assists for the Suns in 21.8 minutes a game.

The Suns turned to James when Eric Bledsoe was suspended and eventually traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, and James played well running the team.

James had spent the past years playing overseas, including stops in Croatia, Israel, Spain and Greece. After attending Eastern Arizona and Lamar, he was undrafted out of college.

ESPN's front-office insider Bobby Marks contributed to this report.