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Knicks sign second-round pick Cleanthony Early

Aug 1, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

Cleanthony Early Cleanthony Early

The Knicks don’t get to draft that often.

Before this year, they’d chosen only once in each of the previous three drafts. And they had no selections planned for this year. Plus, they’d already traded their 2016 first rounder and next three second rounders.

But Phil Jackson dealt for the No. 34 and No. 51 picks, bringing New York into the NBA’s strongest draft in a decade. You better believe the Knicks weren’t going to squander those selections already.

Knicks team release:

New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Cleanthony Early to a contract.

Because the Knicks used the full taxpayer mid-level exception on Jason Smith, they can offer Early only a minimum contract. The deal can be up to two years – $507,336 this season and $845,059 the next.

Increasingly, players drafted in Early’s range get two years guaranteed, and I’d guess he did too. But because the Knicks are so intent in preserving cap space for next summer, I also wouldn’t be surprised if Early received only one fully guaranteed season.

In the meantime, he’ll try to earn some minutes behind Carmelo Anthony. Early, coming out of Wichita State, is fairly NBA-ready for a second-round pick. But he’s still a second-round pick. Anything positive contributions this season should be viewed as a bonus.

  1. 4thquartermagic - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Dude has an awkward name.

    “In the meantime, he’ll try to earn some minutes behind Carmelo Anthony.”

    Guess he’ll be relegated to the bench until Melo gets his 30+ in another Knicks blowout loss and decides to rest.

    • cruzan80 - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Troll on sir…troll on.

  2. haaaaasoooooo - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    When I think of draft picks in the 30’s and 50’s, I think: NBA champions.

  3. rrhoe - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Steal of the draft,book it…….

  4. saint1997 - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Ron Artest 2.0

  5. remyje - Aug 1, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    rrhoe might be right

  6. bux1022 - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Hands down steal of the draft!

  7. elcaminobilly - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    His draft stock was hurt by the “He didn’t come out of college early so he must not have been good enough to do so” mentality. The Knicks got a great deal in getting him. The Knicks are not going to have to worry about giving Carmelo rest now, which is good.

  8. csbanter - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Last year was a rarity for Knicks they played and got great results from a rookie. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Cleanthony Early could become a big part of the Knicks future. Time will tell.

  9. sasquash20 - Aug 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    I like this kid. Should become a solid pro for the next decade. Every game I saw him play I was impressed.

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