Brooklyn native inks deal with Knicks, will start in G League
by Bryan Fonseca
Oct 10, 2018 | 7653 views | 0 0 comments | 514 514 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Phil Carr never made his middle school team. He didn't make his high school team either until his senior year, a season in which he averaged 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game at Transit Tech in East New York.

After one season at Division Three Mohawk Valley Community College, Carr remarkably found his way to Division One Morgan State, where he posted 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game over three seasons.

The wild ride now lands with the New York Knicks, where the 6-foot-9 forward signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the organization last week. Carr's path is one of the more unique to the NBA in recent memory.

“Damn, that’s crazy,” said Carr, a native of Brooklyn who learned of the offer while working out at Basketball City. “As soon as I signed I worked out with head coach Mike Miller of the Westchester Knicks.”

A player on an Exhibit 10 deal receives a bonus up to $50,000, which is $15,000 more than the maximum G League salary, if he signs a contract with the team's G League affiliate – in this case, the Westchester Knicks – upon being waived from the parent club.

Carr was waived Wednesday, one day after signing the deal, meaning he’ll earn the bonus after two months with Westchester. The season begins on November 2.

Carr’s only pre-NBA draft workout was with the Washington Wizards, who play just over an hour away from Morgan State. Carr also spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers in a pre-Summer League mini-camp, where he was cut on the final day this past July.

He got an initial call in early September from the Knicks, he thought to workout with the Westchester club at Hunter College.

“I’m stretching, and I look up and Allonzo Trier is the first person I see,” said Carr. “Then, I see Kevin Knox, and I’m like, ‘What the hell? I thought this was the G League team.’

And then I start to see everybody,” he added. “Emmanuel Mudiay, Damyean Dotson, Lance Thomas, everybody. That pumped me up even more.”

The extra shot of adrenaline from sharing the court with the Knicks roster boosted Carr’s performance as well. He was asked back for the open court runs: twice in that week, three days in the next, but during one of the workouts in the following week, he had a minor injury, which sidelined him for a week.

But the Knicks kept inquiring about Carr, and invited him to workout at their practice facility in Tarrytown when he was ready.

It was one of just a few opportunities he had with an NBA team since graduating college.

“I didn’t have every NBA team call me to work out,” he said. “So once the Wizards called me, I was humbled for that experience. I just wanted to show what I can do. “My agent fought for me and tried to get the local teams like New York and Brooklyn to bring me in but I guess that just fell through.

“I feel like I signed extremely late,” he added, recalling watching some of his peers get contracts before him. “And at the same time, I’m not getting the best overseas offers. I didn’t know what was happening really, I just stayed ready.”

Staying ready is what Carr’s always done. With little experience on high school teams or AAU squads, the Brooklyn native fought to turn a forgettable high school career into a legitimate NBA opportunity.

But the former MEAC All-Conference and Defensive Player of the Year honoree is realistic about his opportunity.

“It would be nice to score 30 points in a game, but that’s not what I’m shooting for,” Carr said. “I just want to keep raising my stock, keep building my resume so I can get those call-ups, so I can get those 10-days, or turn my Exhibit 10 into a two-way and or a full NBA contract.”

“My goal is to keep building and not stay in one place,” he added.
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