New York Knicks signs Kris Wilkes for bidirectional contract


Kris Wilkes spent six seasons at UCLA before declaring for the NBA Draft.

The New York Knicks reached an agreement with undrafted free agent Kris Wilkes out of the University of California, Los Angeles, first reported by Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Wilkes, 1.80m, played two seasons at UCLA, where he participated in 66 games, averaging 15.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest. Wilkes made the 2018-19 All-Pac-12 second team (Sports-Reference).

The two-way contract is a relatively new invention of the NBA. In the past two years, the Knicks have scored Luke Kornet, Isaiah Hicks, Allonzo Trier and Kadeem Allen as G-League players to be called up for the Football League for a maximum of 45 days. The two-way deal has been mainly used to track the progress of a promising player in the development league, and then transport it to New York as an extra body – and if it impresses, as Trier did – then hit another deal.

The Knicks hired Luke Kornet last season after their mediocre debut season on the two-handed contract, and Allonzo Trier's richer contract for a former two-way contractor established the Knicks' position for unlevered talent in the league .

Wilkes will have to develop in Westchester – home to the Knicks G League affiliate "DubKnicks" – without former League G coach Mike Miller, who was promoted to assistant coach of David Fizdale's team last week. Miller had a good track record of working with prospects in White Plains in the volatile market, often seeing his projects sent to other teams or moving to Bockers.

The product of the UCLA of Indianapolis is known as a physical specimen with solid athletic attributes. The Wilkes can be aggressive and hit the stone on the attack, while the attention and wingspan of 6 "10.75" definitely help in defense.

Wilkes turns 21 in September.

New York has selected freshman Duke R.J. Barrett with the third overall pick in the draft and then selected Michigan striker Ignas Brazdeikis at no. 47 after a trade with Sacramento to climb.

This story is breaking and will be updated.


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