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How Much Money Did Dalton Knecht Lose By Dropping In The NBA Draft?

Dalton Knecht
Tennessee G Dalton Knecht selected by the Los Angeles Lakers. Photo via Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht falling to the Los Angeles Lakers at pick No. 17 was one of the biggest surprises in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Scouting services unanimously projected Knecht to be a lottery pick while most mock drafts on Wednesday morning projected the SEC Player of the Year to land at pick No. 6 with the Charlotte Hornets.

So how much money did Knecht lose by falling to the Lakers at pick No. 17? It’s not an exact science.

Each first round NBA draft selection has a projected yearly salary but teams can sign the player to a contract anywhere between 80% and 120% of the projected slot value. Each rookie signs a contract that has two years guaranteed and team options after both the second and third seasons.

Assuming that Knecht signs for 100% of the projected slot value, his salary for the Lakers next season will be $4,032,240. If the Hornets selected Knecht with the sixth pick as people projected, Knecht would have potentially signed at a slot value of $7,510,680. That means that Knecht lost approximately $3.48 million next season alone but dropping in the draft.

More From RTI: Everything Tennessee HC Rick Barnes Said About Dalton Knecht, Summer Workouts On Friday

Over the two years of the guaranteed contract, Knecht lost approximately $7,544,760 by falling the 11 picks in the draft.

In a scenario where both teams would pick up Knecht’s third and fourth year options without signing him to a new contract, Knecht goes from making approximately $31,176,028 to $18,537,485 over the course of four years.

While that is the downside of Knecht falling, there are some positives. The former Tennessee star lands with a much better team and franchise. Knecht gets to play for a historic franchise with LeBron James. He also fills a perimeter shooting need on Los Angeles’ roster.

“I think every player wants to be a lottery pick,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said. “Sometimes it works out better with who you get picked, picked by, drafted by. And in this situation, I think it’s great for him.”

With the Lakers, Knecht will play for new head coach JJ Redick. Redick knows Barnes well and the former NBA veteran had a similar skillset in his playing days that Knecht has now.

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