The New York Knicks formally wrapped up its unfinished business from the 2015 NBA Draft inking first round picks Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant to their rookie contracts. The pair both signed four-years deals.
Per Ian Begley of the ESPN.com:
"Porzingis’ deal—a standard rookie contract—starts at $3.4 million and is for a total of $15.5 million over four seasons. Grant’s deal is also a standard rookie contract—a four-year, $6.3 million contract worth $1.3 million in the first season."
It’s worth noting that above numbers, based on the rookie scale contracts negotiated in the CBA, can increase by as much as 20 percent. The Knicks hold team options for years three and four in both deals.
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The 7-foot-3 Porzingis, the fourth overall pick, has perhaps the most upside of any player in the draft. The lanky Latvian made a solid NBA Summer League debut averaging 10.5 points on 48 percent shooting in four games. Porzingis showed he ran the floor well and had a guard’s instincts, but will definitely have to adjust to the physicality and pace of the NBA. Knicks fans will continually have to remind themselves that he’s only 19 years old.
Per Marc Berman of the New York Post:
"[Porzingis] showed he needs work on his rebounding and his strength posting up. A heralded 3-point shooter, Porzingis made just one in four games. The Knicks are trying to put on least 10 pounds on his 230-pound frame by the Oct. 1 start of training camp. Porzingis blew off the Latvia National Team’s Olympic qualifying games to work with Knicks coaches in New York."
As for Grant, the four-year Notre Dame product comes into the league NBA ready. The Knicks obtained Grant in a draft night trade from the Hawks, dealing away Tim Hardaway Jr. Grant averaged 14.6 points and 5.8 assists during his Irish career on the way to becoming a First Team All-American and a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award for National Player of the Year.
Jul 14, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks guard Jerian Grant (13) dribbles the ball during an NBA Summer League game against the 76ers at Thomas & Mack Center. The Knicks won the game in overtime, 84-81. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
It’s likely Grant will compete for a starting spot in the Knicks backcourt with his ability to play either guard position. He’s got a perfect teacher in head coach Derek Fisher as he looks to cut down on turnovers and facilitate the offense in the Knicks Triangle scheme.
With these two signings the Knicks now have 11 players under contract with four open roster spots to fill by the start of the regular season. It was announced today that the team cut guard Ricky Ledo. Recently signed Wesley Saunders and Darion Atkins, along with Travis Wear and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, are potential training camp invitees.
And, as Begley says, the Knicks are still looking to add players in free agency:
"The Knicks aren’t done on the free-agent market either. They are looking for a backup big man and have the $2.8 million room exception to offer free agents. They can also offer veteran’s minimum contracts."