The New York Knicks are reaching into the EuroLeague talent pool as they prepare for the final weeks of the regular season. New York has agreed to terms to sign Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza. This news isn’t exactly shocking, as HoopsHype previously reported Vildoza already had a buyout in place with the Spanish Baskonia team.
Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza is expected to sign a deal with the New York Knicks, HoopsHype has learned. There's already an agreement in place for a buyout between Vildoza and Baskonia.
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) April 28, 2021
Then, on May 5, a Woj bomb was dropped involving Luca Vildoza:
Luca Vildoza, one of the top playmaking guards in Europe, has agreed-in-principle to a four-year, $13.6M deal with the New York Knicks, his agent Alex Saratsis of Octagon Sports told ESPN. Story: https://t.co/CIZjnKElKm
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 5, 2021
Luca Vildoza averaged 10.1 points, 3.4 assists, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 31 games with Baskonia. He shot 37.6 percent from beyond the arc on 4.8 attempts per game.
The 25-year-old played on Argentina’s squad at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. He averaged 5.8 points, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals in eight games, playing 16.5 minutes per game. Now, Vildoza will provide some backcourt depth for a Knicks team that has been the surprise of the NBA this season.
It remains to be seen what kind of role Vildoza will play in New York, or if he will dig into Frank Ntilikina’s minutes. Regardless, he gives the Knicks another capable ball-handler and floor space who can also act as a defensive playmaker.
New York has also bolstered its frontcourt for the final stretch. The Knicks previously signed G League product Simisola Shittu to a 10-day contract.
This is a vital stretch for the Knicks. After several years being near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, one of the most important markets in the world is doing incredible things each night on the hardwood.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau has not been shy about playing his stars heavy minutes. Julius Randle leads the NBA in minutes played, while RJ Barrett is third. But perhaps the likes of Luca Vildoza and Shittu can soak up some minutes as Thibs tries to keep his top guys fresh for the playoffs.