In the case of The New York Knicks vs. The Knicks Always Sucking, the defense would like to present Exhibit 10.
OK, yeah, no, this isn’t a court proceeding. But Exhibit 10 is a thing I’d like to talk about real quick.
You’ve probably noticed something this past week — the Knicks are signing, and then immediately releasing, a lot of players on “Exhibit 10” deals. First they signed Tyrius Walker, and immediately cut him after the first preseason game. Next up was Phil Carr, who signed with the Knicks on Tuesday and was cut by Wednesday. On the same day, the Knicks signed John Jenkins, and he was gone the next day as well. Next was Westchester Knicks veteran Billy Garrett, who was signed on Thursday and promptly cut on Friday. Also on Friday, the Knicks signed Paul Watson, another veteran of the W-Knicks. It would be reasonable to assume that his contract won’t survive the weekend.
So what’s the deal with all this signing and cutting? Is the Knicks’ front office just really indecisive? Perhaps they just want to make some new friends at the tiny table? Maybe Scott Perry’s been working on a new signature in his rec center calligraphy class on Tuesday nights and just really wants to try it out?
You see, an Exhibit 10 deal allows the signing team to give the player bonuses for playing with the signing team’s G-League team for a certain amount of time. So this not only builds goodwill with players like Walker, Carr, Jenkins, Garrett and Watson and their agents, it also gives the player a bonus equal to almost double the maximum G-League salary if they spend 60 days with the affiliate G-League team.
As it stands, the maximum salary for a G-Leaguer is $35,000 — about what I made at my first job after college, and a pretty far cry from the $7.1 million per year (and rising) average salary in the big league.
By offering these players Exhibit 10 deals and immediately cutting them, the Knicks can over double the usual salary for a G-Leaguer — if the players spend 60 days or more with the Westchester Knicks this season, they get a bonus of $50,000.
In addition to bumping a number of their G-League players up closer to six figures, it’s just good business to show you really care about your players and their welfare. All that these bonuses cost is Jim Dolan’s money, and that’s a perfectly good use of funds in my book.
So, if you were looking for another reason to love the Knicks’ front office today, there it is! The defense rests.