The Knicks may be forming the most expensive G-League team in history, and the latest addition is expected to be forward Jeff Coby, an art history major out of Columbia, who signed Sunday.
In using a new addition to the collective bargaining agreement, the Knicks, from Oct. 2-7, signed five players to their main roster on Exhibit 10 contracts. All, except Coby, were released the next day, earmarked for the Westchester Knicks.
The Exhibit 10 deals were incentives for those players to eschew overseas work because the contract stipulates they can receive as much as $50,000 bonus if they remain with Westchester for 60 days. It’s a subtle way of the Knicks flexing financial muscle.
The 6-foot-8 Coby was given a special non-monetary bonus of practicing with the Knicks since Sunday. He dressed for Monday’s preseason game and will do so again in the finale Friday. On Monday he too will get the axe, although Columbia grads are dreamers.
“Shoot for the stars, you may end up on the moon,’’ Coby told The Post. “I’m training with these guys, so sky is the limit. I’m getting better all the time. I’ll see where that lands me.’’
After graduating in 2017, he went undrafted, had no summer-league offers and played last season in the second tier of Spanish League basketball. This summer, he averaged 15 points and 10 boards for the Haitian National Team in the World Cup qualifier.
The part-time painter double-majored in art history and sociology and finished with a 3.0 GPA.
“I’ll take it,’’ Coby said. “It was extremely hard playing Division I [with two majors]. You have to really be disciplined with time management.”
Coby said he believes NBA scouts essentially ignore Columbia.
“[Spanish League] was the only thing I had,’’ Coby said. “It 100 percent hurt me. My teammate [Luke Petrasek of the Hornets’ G-League team], it hurt him as well. There’s always going to be people telling you [that] you can’t. You can’t listen to it. I’m 100 percent trying to make it in the NBA. I got my foot in the door. I’m here. You keep working and never know what can happen.”
Among the other Exhibit 10 signees who lasted just 24 hours as a Knick were young NBA journeyman John Jenkins, who has a shot at the 15-man roster later this season via injuries or trades, Phil Carr (Morgan State), Billy Garrett (DePaul) and Paul Watson (Fresno State). Point guard Tyrius Walker of Division II Morehouse College began on the 20-man camp roster as an Exhibit 10 and was cut after the first game.
While player developmental director Craig Robinson has placed an emphasis on building up the Westchester Knicks’ culture, most of the roster is composed of NBA free agents who can sign with any team.
The Knicks will have to officially execute exiled Joakim Noah’s waiver/stretch provision by Monday (the date to set the 15-man roster) to end the stalemate. Sources indicate Noah isn’t willing to give up much money — if any. That may be because he doesn’t have a definite landing spot. The Timberwolves, a possible location for him, could be on hold because of the Jimmy Butler fiasco.
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