Allonzo Trier isn’t the first two-way player to receive a new standard NBA contract this season — Gary Clark earned that honor when he signed a new deal with the Rockets last week. However, Trier’s new contract with the Knicks will establish some new benchmarks for undrafted free agents and two-way players.
As we outlined earlier today, the Knicks will use their entire bi-annual exception to lock up Trier for the next two years. The bi-annual exception for the 2018/19 season is worth $3,382,000, with a 5% raise resulting in a $3,551,100 salary for 2019/20. Even though that second-year salary isn’t yet guaranteed, it’s an impressive payday for Trier, who only has 27 NBA games under his belt.
Here are a few noteworthy details about Trier’s new deal:
Trier will earn a higher salary this season than 20 of 2018’s first-round picks.
As our breakdown of this season’s rookie scale salaries shows, the 11th overall pick, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, is earning $3,375,360 in his rookie season, which is less than Trier’s new salary (hat tip to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). Trier’s $3,382,000 salary is worth more than double what the bottom four picks in the first round are making this season.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who has looked very impressive so far, may still do better in the long run than Trier, since his four-year rookie contract is worth nearly $17MM in total, but that’s not a lock — Trier will have the opportunity to reach restricted free agency two or three years earlier than SGA and other 2018 first-rounders. If he continues to impress, Trier’s next deal could very well be bigger than the one he agreed to today.
Trier will earn the largest first-year salary for a non-international undrafted free agent.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the highest first-year salary for a non-international undrafted rookie up until today was Malcolm Delaney‘s $2.5MM salary with the Hawks in 2016/17. Trier’s $3.382MM salary easily surpasses that figure. Most UDFAs, of course, are limited to the minimum salary, which is about $838K this season.
Trier will earn the largest salary for any player coming off a two-way contract.
Two-way contracts are fairly new to the NBA, having been introduced for the 2017/18 season, so we don’t have a ton of historical data to compare to Trier’s new contract. However, previously, the biggest two-way success story was probably Torrey Craig, who parlayed a two-way deal last season into a guaranteed two-year, $4MM contract with the Nuggets this year.
Craig technically secured a larger overall guarantee than Trier, but the $2MM first-year salary on his deal is well below Trier’s.
Trier’s new deal would be equivalent to a $5MM full-season salary for 2018/19:
Assuming his new contract is finalized today, Trier will earn $3.382MM for about two-thirds of the NBA season — 119 of 177 days. A $3.382MM salary over 119 days equates to $28,420 per day.
If a player on a full-season contract was earning that same per-day rate, his deal would be worth $5.03MM over 177 days. The Knicks will essentially be paying Trier like a player earning that salary the rest of the way.