First (non-Ron) free agent signing of the summer, baby! This afternoon, the Knicks announced that they signed Luke Kornet, who is currently playing for the SummerKnicks (Literally! He just made a shot as I typed this!), to a two-way contract.
July 3, 2017 – New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed undrafted rookie Luke Kornet to a Two-Way contract. pic.twitter.com/f0Cynvf4GS— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) July 3, 2017
Two-way contracts are a new wrinkle introduced in the recently agreed-upon Collective Bargaining Agreement. A player signed to a two-way contract spends most of his season with a G-League team, but can be on the NBA roster for up to 45 days during -way the season. Two-way players don’t take up one of the 15 standard roster spots, but instead use one of two additional roster sports that are specifically reserved for those players. And, finally, two-way contracts don’t count against the NBA team’s cap space, so the Knicks still have the full $14.5 million they started the free agency period with.
But I digress. Let’s get back to Kornet, who’s seen as somewhat of a stretch 5. In four years at Vanderbilt, Kornet averaged about 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 41.7% from the field (including 32% from beyond the arc on 3.7 attempts per game). He had a DRtg of 98.4 in his college career, but given the wild imbalance of talent that often exists in NCAA games, I wouldn’t definitively call him a good defender.
So, you know, nothing too exciting. But the benefits that two-way contracts provide make rolling the dice on Kornet a low-risk move.