Knicks sign ex-Tokyo Apache big man Tyler

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Jeremy Tyler made a positive impression during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month, playing for the New York Knicks. That prompted Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald to offer Tyler, a former Tokyo Apache forward/center, a contract for the 2013-14 season.

The deal was completed last week. Terms of the contract were not announced, though published reports have speculated that it’s a partially guaranteed contract.

Tyler, who turned 22 in June, appeared in five Summer League games and averaged 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game.

The 39th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Tyler played for the now-defunct Apache in 2010-11, then spent the next two seasons dividing time between the NBA (Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks) and NBA Development League. In 63 NBA games (23 starts), Tyler averaged 3.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 10.1 minutes over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons combined.

Tyler, a 208-cm native of San Diego, is the first player to be drafted by an NBA team after previously playing for a bj-league club. He showed glimpses of promise during his time with Tokyo, contributing 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game in 33 contests. Longtime NBA coach Bob Hill, Tyler’s Tokyo coach, dedicated countless hours in preparing Tyler mentally and physically for the draft and the demands of life as an NBA player.

Well-known post players Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire are mainstays on the Knicks roster. Tyler will need to compete for minutes coming off the bench for Mike Woodson’s team, which also has frontcourt veterans Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace on its revamped 15-man roster.