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New York Knicks set record rookie contract

New York Knicks set record rookie contract

New York Knicks set record rookie contract

Tyler Kolek’s first contract with the New York Knicks offered some additional fireworks after the Fourth of July.

On Friday, the Knicks formally announced the signings of Kolek and Pacome Dadiet, two of the team’s most recent draft picks, and the duo have reportedly signed one-and-done contracts. Dadiet, the team’s initial pick at No. 25, is said to take 80 percent of the rookie scale in year one, while Kolek’s deal is making history after New York selected him at No. 34.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, Kolek’s new contract includes $6.6 million guaranteed, which sets a new NBA record for a second-round pick. Begley noted that Kolek outstrips his recent New York playoff rival Aaron Nembhard, who received $6.4 million guaranteed from the Indiana Pacers upon their selection 31st overall in 2022.

Kolek’s guarantee is the most the Knicks could have offered him under the second-round exception, which keeps a pick’s salary off the cap in 2024-25 through July 31, giving the Knicks a bit more financial flexibility as they look to avoid the restrictive first-round pick.

The Knicks made a big push to land Kolek, sending three future second-round picks to the Portland Trail Blazers to move up from No. 38 to No. 34 in last week’s draft. Kolek got that tight pick after a stellar college career between George Mason and Marquette.

With the Golden Eagles, Kolek rose to glory at Madison Square Garden as the 2023 Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player. The title, earned en route to Marquette’s first-ever Big East triumph, was previously claimed by new teammate Josh Hart (a two-time winner alongside Patrick Ewing) and Knicks teammate Mikal Bridges. Kolek’s other accolades include All-American selections in his final two seasons, and he also led the nation in assists this past season.

While the Knicks’ backcourt picture is relatively crowded in Manhattan, he’ll likely be one of the protagonists of the team’s Summer League affairs, which begin next Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

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