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The Knicks have signed 25-year-old Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza

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Our very own Luca.

Argentina v France: Semi-finals - FIBA World Cup 2019
Might this man be a major part of the Knicks’ future?
Photo by Di Yin/Getty Images

The Knicks will officially sign the MVP of last year’s Spanish league championship, with Woj reporting Wednesday that New York intends to ink Luca Vildoza to a four-year, $13.6 million contract that isn’t fully guaranteed.

Vildoza, a 25-year-old from Argentina who is 6’3” and can play both guard positions, has been expected to sign with the Knicks for a little bit. Now, because ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting it, we can say with complete confidence that the news is legitimate. Woj’s source appears to be reputable: it’s Vildoza’s agent.

It sounds like the first year of his deal, this season, is guaranteed, while the remaining three are not, and no further details are known quite yet.

By all accounts, this seems to be a shrewd signing. Vildoza was the MVP of the 2020 Spanish ACB Finals after leading his team, Baskonia, to the title over Barcelona. Not only did he finish the championship game with a team-high 17 points, plus 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, he scored the game-winning layup with just three seconds remaining on the clock.

Here, let’s check out his game-winning bucket for ourselves. You’ll see that, despite not being involved in the initial sequence, Vildoza notices Barcelona’s defenders are all focused on the ball and have left the paint wide open. He baits the guy covering him out towards the three-point line before suddenly cutting towards the hoop. His teammate sees him, and the championship is sealed. Vildoza is number 3 in a white jersey, and he starts the video on the bottom left.

People paid to know about basketball, like ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz, believe the Knicks have done a good thing.

According to Woj, Vildoza still has to clear the immigration process before he can fly to New York. While he might technically be able to play this season, don’t get your hopes up. The playoffs are getting pretty darn close, and there’s no reason to think he’d just saunter into Madison Square Garden and immediately crack Tom Thibodeau’s rotation.

Newsday’s Steve Popper reported that he’s “unlikely to play for the Knicks this season,” and that seems likely to be correct. But he will be able to begin training with coaches and working out at team facilities, meaning the Knicks will have some time to determine whether he’s one of the missing pieces. It would certainly be great if he could turn out to be a starter-level point guard.

Vildoza’s Argentinian heritage obviously brings to mind Pablo Prigioni, who stole not just basketballs from unsuspecting opponents during ordinary inbounds plays, but hearts. Prigioni, who was 35 as a rookie for the Knicks, was merely a role player. Vildoza, on the other hand, has a chance to make a whole career out of playing in New York.