MARCH 16TH, 5:40 pm: The signing is official, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com.
11:51am: The contract is expected to cover only this season and next without a full guarantee on next year’s salary, league sources tell Begley (Twitter link). Marc Berman of the New York Post also hears the deal is only a two-season arrangement (Twitter link). Berman’s source reiterates the notion that Wroten might not appear in a game this season because of his health.
11:19am: “Minimal” guarantees exist on the salary in year two and year three, Beck also reports (Twitter link). Still, the Knicks appear to be unable to sign any outside free agent to a three-year deal until July. It’s theoretically possible, given the doubts about his ability to play this season, that the sides are planning to wait until then, but Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com hears the signing is expected to take place sometime this week (Twitter link).
10:57am: It’s highly unlikely Wroten appears in a game for the Knicks this season in spite of their deal, as Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck hears. Beck cites concerns about Wroten’s health, though he’s 14 months removed from his torn right ACL (Twitter link).
10:26am: The Knicks and Tony Wroten are finalizing a multiyear contract, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Charania refers to it as a three-year deal in his tweet, but the Knicks don’t have the power to sign any outside free agent for more than this season and next, since they’re limited to the minimum salary exception, so it’s unclear where talk of the third year is coming from. In any case, the Knicks have an open roster spot, so they don’t have to let anyone go to bring in Wroten, the ex-Sixers combo guard whose 16.9 points per game in an injury-shortened 30-game stint last season were more than anyone else on his team.
It’s somewhat of a surprise to see New York go for Wroten, despite longstanding mutual interest, since Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported last week that Tim Frazier and Ray McCallum were considered more likely options for the Knicks roster vacancy. The team reportedly had concerns about Wroten’s defense and unfamiliarity with the triangle offense. Still, the Knicks visited recently with him, as Isola also reported, and the team put him through a “workout/physical/interview,” Isola tweets this morning.
The Heat did their due diligence with a check-in on Wroten earlier this season, but the 22-year-old has nonetheless remained unsigned since the Sixers waived him on Christmas Eve. His lingering free agency raised eyebrows, since he has the pedigree of having been the 25th overall pick in 2012. He made his case that he had recovered from a January 2015 torn right ACL when he returned to game action a few weeks before Philadelphia cut him, though he wasn’t quite the same, shooting just 33.8% from the field in eight games, well beneath his 41.3% career mark.