The New York Knicks made a flurry of two-way contract moves leading up to the start of the 2023-24 season, and they made another on Monday.
Before New York's game against Phoenix on Sunday, the team announced that Duane Washington Jr. would be out for six to eight weeks with a right thumb injury. The 23-year-old guard signed a two-way contract with the Knicks over the summer. He started the season in Westchester, New York's G League affiliate that's risen up the standings from 2022-23's last-place finish.
Unfortunately, Washington's injury will not only cause him to miss time on the court but he also lost his two-way spot. The open roster spot will go to Jaylen Martin, who was on a two-way with New York over the summer before he was waived.
Knicks waive Duane Washington Jr., sign Jaylen Martin to two-way contract
Jaylen Martin went undrafted in June and signed a two-way with the Knicks shortly after that. He did well for New York at Summer League, including hitting a game-winning shot in overtime.
The 19-year-old has been performing well in Westchester, and his play has led to him re-signing a two-way with the Knicks.
Last season, Martin played for Overtime Elite's YNG Dreamerz. He averaged 14 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game, shooting 37.6% from the field. Some believed Martin could be a late second-round draft pick, but an injury kept his name from being called on draft night. Going undrafted could have added extra fuel to Martin's fire.
Martin's Overtime Elite coach, Tim Fanning, has spoken highly of his former player, saying he doesn't play like an average 19-year-old.
"He can play off the ball. He’s really good spacing the floor. He’s really good moving without the ball. He understands spaces more than the typical 19-year-old American player,” Fanning said. “I see this guy stepping on the court and potentially being a really exciting and productive piece to a team."- Tim Fanning
While it's unfortunate to see the Knicks waive Duane Washington Jr., it's nice to see Jaylen Martin's hard work pay off.