Former Spurs forward and first round pick Luka Samanic has agreed to sign a two-way contract with the New York Knicks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Because Samanic was not claimed within 48 hours after he was waived on October 11, the Spurs are still on the hook for his $2.96 million salary this season. As a two-way player, he will spend a good chunk of his time with the Knicks’ G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, but in a rule carried over from last season, he is eligible to play in up to 50 games with New York this season. (Before it was 45 days, regardless of if it was gameday or not.)
Samanic was selected 19th overall by the Spurs out of Croatia in the 2019 NBA Draft. His upside and potential to be the exact type of big man today’s game is centered around was intriguing, but it never showed in anything more than tiny spurts across 36 NBA games, and questions about his motor and mentality that followed him from Europe persisted throughout his two-year stint with the Spurs. Hopefully this will be a chance for him to get more playing time (it’s worth noting that very few G League games last season did him no favors), and he’ll be able to develop into the player he is capable of being.
Good luck, Luka! Spurs fans everywhere will be rooting for you.