Let’s not forget the underdogs that fought their way to a possible roster spot with the New York Knicks, with exceptional playmaking, in the Summer League.
Last week, the New York Knicks signed undrafted Morehouse guard Tyrius Walker to an exhibit 10 contract. If you have never heard of this type of contract before, Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors gives a great hypothetical using the Knicks:
"“Let’s say an undrafted rookie signs an Exhibit 10 contract with the Knicks that includes a $50K bonus. He attends camp with the Knicks, but is waived before the regular season begins, with New York designating him an affiliate player in order to retain his G League rights. In that scenario, if the rookie elects to play in the G League for the Westchester Knicks and remains with the club for 60 days, he’d be entitled to his full $50K bonus.”"
Walker’s contract with the Knicks seems to be a preseason tryout/liability signing to create depth and competition. But even with his limited time and role on the Knicks Summer League roster, he showcased high efficiency in a small sample size.
The Morehouse product never received many opportunities to start his career. It seemed uncertain Walker would make any kind of impact, until given the opportunity to start in the last game of Summer League.
Proving everyone wrong seems to be Walker’s forte as he proved that as a Division-II Senior, he still deserves recognition. After playing 26 minutes, scoring 16 points, dishing out 6 assists, grabbing 5 rebounds, and snagging 5 steals, the Knicks needed to make sure this was no fluke.
Outside of Summer League, Walker provided a consistent spark for the Morehouse Maroon Tigers as he averaged 18.0 points per game, 3.3 assists per game, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.8 steals over four years. Whether that D-II play will transfer to even preseason is what has yet to be determined.
Walker has had many doubters along the way, and will continue to have that trend rise to start his NBA career, but it seems that we could see a journey similar to that of Chasson Randle at the minimum to a ceiling of Langston Galloway (speaking in terms of Knicks’ careers, not style of play).
But maybe the Summer League surprise is here for more, and is only to here to prove the doubters, like me, wrong. Maybe we could see a similar path to that of Trey Burke. An undersized guard who revamped his career on the Westchester Knicks.
Whether that be the case or not, the Division-II product will look to make his case as he’ll likely start his season in the G-League and work his way up.