The New York Knicks filled out their training camp roster last week, signing Nigel Hayes, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis to partially-guaranteed deals. ESPN’s Bobby Marks recently broke down a critical detail in each contract, one that might ensure even the players who don’t make the roster will end up playing for the Knicks in Westchester.
The contract for the Knicks Nigel Hayes has $50K protection. The Hayes money will hit NYK cap if waived and doesn't have an Exhibit 10.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 21, 2017
Both the Knicks Jamel Artis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes have an Exhibit 10 in their contract. Each player would receive a $50K bonus if they are waived and spend 60 days with the Knicks G-League team. Unlike the protection for Nigel Hayes, the Exhibit 10 bonus doesn't impact the Knicks cap.
I’m not sure why Hayes didn’t get the Exhibit 10 protection—perhaps his agent negotiated it to ensure they get the $50,000 regardless of where Hayes goes after he’s cut. As for Rathan-Mayes and Artis (my personal fave), this would provide a decent incentive for each player to stay on with the Westchester Knicks if they are cut by the big club. That’s good!
It should be noted that these dudes will be battling out for a very different kind of NBA contract than we’re used to seeing. New “two-way” contracts are being introduced this season—Vanderbilt big man Luke Kornet was signed using one, and the Knicks have one more to offer. Let Matt RW explain:
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 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.
Even if one of these players joins Kornet on a two-way deal, he will be spending most of his season in the G-League. Either way, there should be a decent level of talent taking the court in Westchester this fall.