Baker, VanVleet go undrafted, sign Summer League contracts

Grant Cohen

Last Thursday’s NBA draft did not go as planned for former All-American Wichita State guards Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet. Both went undrafted through 60 picks, but they were not shutout of NBA contracts. 

Baker signed a partially guaranteed one-year contract with the New York Knicks hours after the draft. The guard from Scott City will play with the Knicks’ Summer League team in Orlando, July 2 through the 8th and will also be invited to the team’s training camp in October. 

While Baker will be paid at least $100,000, he will have to compete to be selected to Knicks’ final 15-man roster at the end of the preseason. 

Former WSU forward Cleanthony Early will team up with Baker on the Knicks’ summer league team, signing a one-year contract extension after being a restricted free agent. 

 New York is known for signing former Shocker players, first starting by drafting forward Dave Stallworth with the third overall pick in the 1965 draft after the conclusion of WSU’s first Final Four. Stallworth played for New York from 1965-1972, playing on the 1970 NBA Championship team with former WSU teammate Nate Bowman. 

Averaging 16 minutes a game, Stallworth was a productive player coming off the bench during the Knicks’ title run, averaging 7.7 points and four rebounds per game. 

VanVleet was offered to be drafted with a second round pick in the NBA draft by two NBA teams, with the expectation that he would play on their Developmental League affiliate for a salary of $20,000, according to the Rockford Register. 

The Toronto Raptors signed VanVleet to their Summer League team that will compete in Las Vegas July 8-18. Since VanVleet is not under contract by the Raptors, any team can sign him upon completion of the NBA Summer League, if Toronto chooses not to invite VanVleet to training camp. 

Baker and Early start Summer League play with the Knicks in Orlando on July 2 against the Detroit Pistons at the Amway Center’s Practice Court at 3 p.m. EST. Games will not be open to the public because of limited seating, but all of the games can be viewed on NBA TV. 

VanVleet will take the court with the Raptors in Las Vegas starting on July 8 against the Sacramento Kings at the Cox Pavilion at 10 p.m. EST. Tickets are on sale through NBATickets.com and the games will be televised on NBA TV.