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Dalton Knecht Reportedly Signs Rookie Contract With Los Angeles Lakers

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Former Tennessee star Dalton Knecht reportedly signed his NBA rookie contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday according to Spotrac.

It’s a four-year contract for Knecht that’s worth up to $18.48 million with $7.83 million guaranteed over the first two years. After those two years, the Lakers have team options whether to pick up the third year and fourth year of Knecht’s rookie contract.

The reigning SEC Player of the Year signed a rookie contract that matchup completely with the NBA Draft “slot value” for the No. 17 overall pick.

Knecht sliding all the way to the Lakers at No. 17 was one of the biggest surprises of the 2024 NBA Draft. Draft pundits universally viewed the All-American guard as a lottery pick with most pundits projecting the Charlotte Hornets to select Knecht with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

If the Hornets would have selected Knecht and signed him at his slot value, Knecht would have lost $7.5 million guaranteed over the next two seasons and up to $12.6 million over the course of the four-year contract. Take a complete look at how much money Knecht potentially lost by dropping 11 picks here.

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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.”

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard exploded onto NBA radars after transferring to Tennessee for his super senior season and exploding as a star in college basketball. In his lone season at Tennessee, Knecht averaged 21.7 points per game on 46% shooting from the field and 40% shooting from three-point range.

Knecht was a scoring sensation and was at his best when the lights were brightest. He scored 40 points once, 35-plus points six times, 30-plus points seven times and 25-plus points 13 times in his incredibly impressive season in Knoxville.

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