Luca Vildoza's four-year, $13.6 million deal with the Knicks is nonguaranteed in the final three years, league source confirms. First reported by ESPN. Knicks had been in contact with Argentinian guard in recent weeks.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 5, 2021
An Argentine professional basketball player by the name of Luca Vildoza signed a 4-year, $13.6 million dollar deal with the New York Knicks on May 5th 2021. The 6’3” point-guard/shooting-guard from Argentina began his basketball playing career with Quilmes, an Argentine 1st Division club during the 2011-12 season. Vildoza recently played for the Spanish ACB League. Vildoza’s style of play will suit the Knicks tremendously due to his high basketball IQ and top tier three point shooting percentage. Will Luca Vildoza’s signing with the Knicks be more crucial than it seems?
The more I watch of Luca Vildoza, the more I like his prospects of being a nice player in the NBA. He passes really well, hits from deep, and competes on D. As a backup PG/spot starter, there's really nothing he can't do. NBA teams really need to give him a hard look as a UDFA. pic.twitter.com/0GHp1M4Ks9— Spencer (@SKPearlman) February 16, 2019
Luca Vildoza admires Pablo Prigioni, a former Knick backup point-guard who played under prior Head Coach Mike Woodson during a marvelous 2012-13 season. The Knicks record was 54-28 that season and Prigioni was a big help for the second unit. Prigioni’s high basketball IQ was evident especially during the playoffs. He’d then be traded to the Houston Rockets in 2015.
There are eye opening similarities between Vildoza and Prigioni on the basketball court. Both have a knack when it comes to playing the passing lane and coming up with steals. Vildoza is also a team first passing guard. He possesses excellent and natural playmaking ability in the pick and roll. That’s definitely a very crucial part of the Argentinian’s game the Knicks could appreciate. Vildoza’s pick and roll prowess could unlock Knicks prized 2020 first round draft pick Obi Toppin.
Which Knick Could Benefit Most From a Potential Luca Vildoza Signing?
OBI TOPPIN WITH A MEAN DUNK pic.twitter.com/buCPKskGle— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) May 3, 2021
The 6’9” rookie power-forward Obi Toppin could benefit immensely from a potential on-court connection with Vildoza. Those two players in a gym under the supervision of this current Knicks developmental coaching staff could raise the stock for both players. Obi Toppin thrives in a free flowing, fast pace game, and Vildoza can set the table for Obi in many different scenarios. This regular season is almost over, therefore, the Vildoza signing will most likely be more for the 2021-22 season. Could this signing be significant when it comes to unlocking Obi Toppin’s offensive strengths? Only time will tell.
Luca Vildoza Provides Decent Three-Point Shooting, High Free-Throw Shooting Percentage, Assists, Steals, and Overall High Basketball IQ.
Vildoza plays in a high level league in terms of competition. The Argentinian club he played for are not strangers when it comes to competing in a playoff atmosphere. The 25-year old can bring the same intensity to the Knicks second unit for next season. Adding a young veteran in Vildoza will help catapult this Knicks team next season, improving the depth even more as the surrounding bench talent gets unlocked. Everybody is playing to their strength this season for the Knicks, however, enhancing the roster with another player that makes everybody better will only benefit New York’s favorite team during the regular season and the playoffs moving forward. Vildoza averaged 1.9-steals in only 22.1-minutes per game during the 2019-20 season at Baskonia. Vildoza is a career 36% three-point shooter. He also shoots around 85% from the free-throw line his entire career. Luca Vildoza’s signing is a solid move by the Knicks.
The New York Knicks filled their final roster spot. Luca Vildoza’s signing will help solidify the Knicks bench unit. Many within the Knicks organization including Tom Thibodeau respect all the different aspects of Elfrid Payton’s game, especially defensively. However, Its unlikely Vildoza will come in and take Elfrid’s minutes this season. Derrick Rose is a 32-year old vet who doesn’t want too much pressure put on him from a minutes standpoint. Immanuel Quickley isn’t a natural point guard, therefore, the former Kentucky Wildcat would be able to play to his strength alongside Vildoza. There’s definitely high upside for everybody when the Argentinian actually comes aboard. Could the Knicks not resign Elfrid next season as Vildoza stays aboard? That remains to be seen. Even if that happens, Vildoza would most likely be a point guard specifically for the bench unit.