4:56pm: The Knicks have issued a press release confirming that they’ve claimed Harper and waived Allen.
4:24pm: The Knicks have claimed two-way player Jared Harper off waivers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the team waived guard Kadeem Allen to open up a spot. Harper and Kenny Wooten now occupy New York’s two-way contract slots.
Harper, 22, signed a two-way contract with Phoenix last July after going undrafted out of Auburn. The 5’11” guard logged just eight total minutes in three NBA games for the Suns, but had a strong season for the Northern Arizona Suns, Phoenix’s G League affiliate. In 34 NBAGL games (28.9 MPG), Harper averaged 20.2 PPG, 5.5 APG, 2.6 RPG, and 1.1 SPG with a shooting line of .413/.362/.787.
The Suns opted to release Harper in March just as the NBA puts its transaction moratorium in place, so the move didn’t technically become official until Tuesday of this week. Harper would have cleared waivers and become a free agent today if not for the Knicks’ claim.
Now, it will be Allen who is on track to become a free agent if he clears waivers this weekend. The 6’1″ guard spent the last two seasons under contract with New York, appearing in 29 games for the NBA squad and 63 more for the Westchester Knicks in the G League. Allen struggled to score efficiency this season, averaging 13.7 PPG on .394/.261/.828 shooting in 24 NBAGL games (28.8 MPG).
Harper’s two-way contract is believed to be for only one season, which means the Knicks would have to re-sign him this fall in order to keep him under control beyond 2019/20. Claiming him off waivers gives the club greater control of that process, since he can be made a restricted free agent.