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The Knicks signed postseason-ineligible Isaiah Roby. What’s the deal?

Roby will enter the summer under contract with the Knicks but with no money guaranteed

San Antonio Spurs v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks have signed forward Isaiah Roby to a day-and-a-year deal that will run through the end of the upcoming 2023-24 NBA season, the franchise announced on Sunday.

This was an odd deal to hand to a free agent of Roby’s ilk just hours before the final game of the regular season.

First of all, Roby was never—obviously because of the little time he had to get ready for the game against Indiana—going to dress for the Knicks’ regular-season finally at MSG on Sunday afternoon.

On top of that, Roby is ineligible to play with the New York Knicks in the postseason. That’s because he was still on the San Antonio Spurs roster past March 1st, the deadline day for players to get freed so they could sign a deal elsewhere and still qualify for postseason play.

So, while the Knicks officially have signed Roby to a two-year deal, they have signed him for next season... if for any time, at all.

As Fred Katz explained on Twitter, New York is basically paying $400k upfront to Roby to have him play basketball in the upcoming Summer League with the rest of the Knicks youngsters.

With no money guaranteed past the aforementioned sum, the Knicks can rid themselves of Roby after the summer with no penalty other than the amount they have already paid him.

This deal might easily be linked to the Dallas Mavericks' tanking effort to clinch a bottom-10 position in the standings, thus negating New York a first-round pick this season.

With no first-round rookies on the horizon, New York could be just betting on a young player—Roby just turned 25 years old last February—to see what he has inside of him as a potential cheap addition ahead of next season.

This campaign, playing for the Spurs, Roby appeared in 42 games in his four seasons as a pro in the Association. He averaged around four points, two rebounds, and one assist per game in slightly more than 11 minutes a pop in Texas, starting a couple of matchups.

Roby spent his first three seasons in the league playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he put up an average 9-5-1 line with 1.5 stocks per game in nearly 22 minutes per game through three campaigns and 109 games (62 started).

Roby was drafted in the second round of the 2019 event by the Detroit Pistons and then traded to the Mavericks. Dallas proceeded to assign him to the G League before ultimately trading him to the Thunder in early 2020 in exchange for Justin Patton and cash considerations.

Welcome to the Mecca, Isaiah!