Tyler Kolek, New York Knicks

Tyler Kolek, New York Knicks


Tyler Kolek of the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks drafted guard Pacome Dadiet with the No. 25 overall pick of the 2024 draft. But they doubled up on their backcourt, selecting Marquette guard Tyler Kolek with the No. 34 selection. Kolek signed a four-year, $9 million contract.

The Knicks announced the former Golden Eagle agreed to his rookie contract earlier in the day on July 5, noting Kolek’s 99 games started over his final three seasons.

A four-year collegian, Kolek set an NBA record before ever stepping on the floor.

“Knicks’ contract with rookie Tyler Kolek sets NBA record with most guaranteed money ($6.6M) for a second-round pick,” SportsNet New York’s Ian Begley reported on X on July 5. “Prior record was Andrew Nembhard’s $6.4M. Kolek’s Knicks deal is the most a team can pay a second rounder under the second round exception.”

Tyler Kolek broke Marquette’s program record with 18 assists versus DePaul. The projected first round pick is a pick and roll maestro, leading the country in assists and shooting 41% for 3.

“Shades of Jalen Brunson, Goran Dragic,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote in his evaluation of Kolek. “Pure playmaker who makes his teammates better and can catch fire as a scorer.”

O’Connor ranked Kolek the No. 25 prospect in the class, three spots above Dadiet.

Still, internal optimism around Kolek’s addition this summer could lead to early playing time next season.

Insider: Knicks High on Tyler Kolek

“I know that several people in the organization, coaching staff really liked Kolek a lot of the year and going into the draft,” Begley said on “SportsNite” on July 5. “This was a player that they, I think, felt fortunate to get. They traded up to get him, so they clearly valued him.

“The money tells you a lot about how the Knicks feel about Kolek. I think he could have a chance to compete for, not starter’s minutes, but rotation minutes here camp. So they’re high on him, he’s older, so maybe he sneaks into the rotation if he has a good performance in camp and into the preseason.”

Pick and roll clinic by Tyler Kolek helping Marquette advance to the Sweet 16 with a win over Colorado. Got anywhere he wanted on the floor, finishing skillfully and delivering phenomenal passes. 21 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds for the projected first round pick.

Kolek averaged 15.3 points, 7.7 assists, and 4.9 rebounds last season. He also shot 38.8% from beyond the arc in a step back from his 2022-23 campaign, when he hit 39.8% from deep.

The Knicks ran the pick-and-roll with great success last season.

Tyler Kolek: ‘Look Out for Me’

Kolek touted his work ethic in a recent interview, noting that he has airways carried a grinder’s mentality. He is also an openly fiery competitor. He said his banter with opponents is typically friendly but that he enjoys engaging with fans.

“It’s just kind of that chip on my shoulder that I’ve always had,” Kolek said on the “Game Theory Podcast” on June 13. “All these people just looking at me coming onto the floor, not thinking that – not really thinking anything of it. But that’s just the way I have to be. I have to be like that to be a 6-foot-2 undersized, unathletic point guard at the highest level. You got to have some gumption to you, some some stuff behind you, and just play.”

Tyler Kolek joined me ahead of the #NBADraft to go over game film and talk about his game. Here he breaks down what he sees on the floor.

Kolek’s self-assessment is similar to Brunson’s pre-draft evaluation by DraftExpress from September 2016. But the youngster is ready to make a name for himself.

“I just want to let people know to look out for me. I’m coming. That’s all it is.”

Josh Buckhalter covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has covered both leagues since 2016, including bylines at FanSided, Last Word on Sports and Clocker Sports. He’s based in Villa Park, Illinois. Follow Josh on Twitter and Instagram: @JoshGBuck More about Josh Buckhalter

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