Teams must extend the tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum – to retain exclusive negotiating rights on a second-round pick. If a player rejects the tender, the team retains those rights for a year.
Tokoto forced the 76ers’ hand by accepting the tender, going to training camp and getting waived to become an unrestricted free agent last year. Had he allowed the 76ers to stash him last season, they’d be the only team he could bargain with now. Philadelphia already has 20 players – five more than the regular-season roster limit – and reportedly plans to sign undrafted North Carolina State guard Cat Barber at some point.
New York presents a much better opportunity for Tokoto.
Tokoto’s D-League rights are already held by the Thunder’s affiliate – which suggests the Knicks like him for their NBA roster (or could have the Westchester Knicks trade for him). This differs from Baker, whose D-League rights the Knicks could simply assign to Westchester by waiving him.
More second-rounders should follow Tokoto’s lead and not allow the drafting team to maintain exclusive negotiating rights while not paying them. This is where his strategy pays off.