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New York signs Donte DiVincenzo to 4-year, $50 million deal

The World Champion comes to the Knicks to build the Villanova Trifecta along with JH and JB

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2023 NBA Playoffs- Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Knicks kicked off their particular offseason by dealing Obi Toppin away and sending the forward and former top-8 draftee to Indiana to open enough cap room to fit a free agent later on the weekend. That man, as rumors had had it for a while, was former Golden State Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo.

New York reached a four-year, $50 million agreement with former Villanova and Milwaukee Bucks player, NCAA and NBA champ DiVincenzo. The news was first broken by, who else, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Fred Katz of The Athletic ($) later confirmed with sources close to the player and the franchise that the contract does not include any team or player option.

For this deal to happen, DiVincenzo declined a player option earlier this week that would have kept him one more year in GSW. He would have earned $4.7 million had he gone ahead and activated the option.

At 26 years old, DiVincenzo will instead rack up millions on the East Coast starting next season by getting over $12 million per season from the Knicks.

DDV is coming off a solid season with the Golden State Warriors, his second in the Bay Area after already playing there for Sacramento Kings a year before.

Throughout 72 regular-season games (36 starts) DDV averaged 9.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 3.5 APG in 26.3 MPG, mostly off the pine. Notably, for what interests the Knicks the most (adding some shooting), the guard was able to shoot a career-best 39.7% from beyond the arc, hoisting 5.3 three-pointers per game. Before last season, DDV had topped at a 37.9% clip on 5.2 3PA a pop for the Bucks in 2021, when he went on to become an NBA champion in Milwaukee.

For his career, DDV holds a 36.2% three-point shooting percentage. For context, only Jalen Brunson (41.6%), Quentin Grimes (38.6%), and Immanuel Quickley (37%) topped that percentage last season alone while attempting more than 4.5 3PA per game.

With the arrival of DDV, the Knicks add another player who can create his own shot while also coming with some solid defensive chops. That said, of course, there is a tiny little overload of guards in the roster right now, and even more, with Toppin departing and leaving the four positions dried off (pure) options outside of starter Julius Randle.

DiVincenzo can shoot, can handle the ball, lead the offense, and is always active on D. That’s great, and that also aligns with coach Tom Thibodeau’s requirements and preferences. At the end of the day, the Knicks wouldn’t have ponied up as much dough as they did to land DDV had that not been the case. Not these Knicks, at least.

DiVincenzo also joins two former college-level teammates in Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, after the first signed his own free-agent deal with the Knicks last summer, and the latter arrived via trade last February. DDV won two NCAA titles at Nova, overlapping his tenure there with Brunson and Hart in one of those chips and with Brunson alone in the other one.

DDV is also the highest-drafted player of the Knicksanova trio, getting picked in the 17th slot by the Bucks back in 2018. Brunson dropped into the second round (33rd overall) in the same draft, and Hart was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 30th pick one year before and instantly sent to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Trading Toppin to Indiana in a salary-dump move created an opening in the Knicks’ rotation and, most importantly, it cleared enough salary cap space to accommodate DiVincenzo’s contract within the hard cap of $172.3 million, allowing the Knicks to dodge paying any luxury tax.

After Toppin’s departure and DDV’s arrival, though, it’d make sense for New York to keep exploring the free agent market or to try to come up with a trade partner to land someone that can naturally be deployed in the forward position. The Knicks have been able to use both RJ Barrett and Josh Hart to some extent and levels of success in the past, but that should not be the long-term solution entering next season.

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Knicks still have “approximately $6.6 million of flexibility under the tax apron,” and they have the option to use a $4.5 million biannual exception to sign a power forward through free agency. They could also utilize the $6.8 million trade exception generated from the Toppin trade to acquire another player.

Donte in, Toppin out. Here’s you’re New York Knicks depth chart as things stand.

How do you like that?