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How a last-minute CBA change allowed the Knicks to sign Dylan Windler

After a series of moves last week geared toward the end of the roster, the Knicks filled their final two-way contract thanks to a new rule and an assist from Harry Giles.

Dylan Windler, who officially signed with the Knicks on July 26, became the first player to benefit from ‘The Harry Giles Rule,’ which redefined the ‘years of service’ requirements for two-way contract eligibility.

Before that alteration, Windler would’ve been ineligible for a two-way contract because he exceeded the maximum of three years of service. But Windler also missed his entire rookie season in Cleveland with an injury, which is now taken into account by the NBA after a successful appeal from Giles and his New York-native agent, Daniel Hazan.

“It feels great to see that the rule is in full effect,” Giles told the Daily News. “I look forward to more guys getting an opportunity.”

It was, essentially, an 11th-hour switch to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Giles, a former blue chip prospect and first-round pick, battled knee injuries and didn’t log one NBA game in two of the five years since getting drafted. Heading into the 2023 free agency, Hazan recognized that a two-way contract represented Giles’ best opportunity for another chance. It’s relatively risk-averse for the team — which is important when considering knee injuries — but also provides the player with a roster spot and guaranteed money.

So Hazan, a lifelong Knicks fan, pushed the NBPA to remove any seasons for two-way contract eligibility that didn’t include games played. In other words, Giles’ years of service would reduce from 5 to 3. Hazan was initially told by the NBPA that his case carried little chance of success. It was too low on the list of priorities as the league and union were finalizing the CBA before free agency. But then Celtics star Jayson Tatum spoke on behalf of Giles, his former Duke teammate, and Hazan’s argument was strong because it spoke to the spirit of the two-way contract.

“They had come to terms on pretty much everything [in the CBA] and they had to come back to the table to talk about this,” Hazan said.

Windler, a 26-year-old wing, was a late addition to the Knicks and their third two-way contract. He was also recruited by Hazan as a client coming out of college, giving the agent more of an appreciation for delivering the assist.

“Being born [in NYC] and as a die hard Knicks fan it was great that I was able to help the Knicks through that rule,” Hazan said.

So what happened to Giles?

He’s still working to find an NBA team, which has distracted any enthusiasm he might have later for inspiring a CBA rule change.

“It still didn’t really hit me just because I’m in a different mode, trying to grind and get back in,” said the 25-year-old power forward/center, who is scheduled to work out for the Brooklyn Nets in Miami on Saturday.

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Source: Berkshire mont

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