The Knicks and two-way player Allonzo Trier have had ongoing discussions about a new contract that would promote Trier to the team’s 15-man roster, league sources tell Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Trier figures to hit his 45-day NBA limit at some point in mid-December, at which point he’d have to spend the rest of the season in the G League if he remains on his two-way deal.
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While the Knicks want to give Trier a roster spot, it could be a little tricky, as Vorkunov explains. New York has the ability to unilaterally convert Trier’s two-way contract into a standard one-year deal, but the team may want to lock up the undrafted rookie for more than just the 2018/19 season, which would require negotiations.
The Knicks’ potential options would include:
- Signing Trier to a two-year, minimum salary contract.
- Signing Trier to a two-year contract using part or all of the bi-annual exception ($3.382MM).
- Signing Trier to a multiyear contract (up to four years) using the mid-level exception.
- Note: The Knicks only have about $656K left on their mid-level exception, which is below Trier’s full-season minimum salary. However, because we’re about a quarter of the way through the season, that mid-level figure actually exceeds Trier’s prorated minimum salary, making it usable.
The two sides could go back and forth on the terms of a possible deal, with the Knicks pushing for more years of control and less guaranteed money, while Trier and his camp perhaps pursue a shorter-term deal, higher salaries, or more guarantees.
The Knicks will be cautious when it comes to adding guaranteed money to their cap for 2019/20, since it could impact their quest for a maximum salary free agent, but as Vorkunov notes, they’ll want to be careful not to overplay their hand — if the two sides can’t come to terms, Trier could be content to play out his rookie season in the G League and seek an offer sheet in restricted free agency next summer. Tyrone Wallace took this approach with the Clippers last season.
Assuming the Knicks do strike a deal with Trier, they’d have to make a corresponding roster move to create an opening on their 15-man roster. As we relayed on Thursday, Ron Baker and Luke Kornet appear to be the players whose roster spots would be most at risk.