Knicks landed a ‘grinder’ in Golden State sharp-shooter

Donte DiVincenzo, knicks
May 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) shoots the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half of game four of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Knicks continue their pursuit of a third superstar to partner with Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson, they have succeeded in acquiring their primary free-agent target, Donte DiVincenzo.

From Golden State to the Big Apple: DiVincenzo’s Career Shift

DiVincenzo, the former Golden State Warriors shooting guard, declined his player option for the 2023–24 season and signed a four-year, $46.87 million deal with the Knicks. This upcoming season will see him carrying a $10.9 million cap hit, with the contract set to expire when he is 30 years old. This advantageous deal will offer the Knicks enhanced spacing, solid defense, and a proficient three-point shooter.

Golden State’s head coach, Steve Kerr, spoke positively about DiVincenzo’s prospective fit with Knicks’ head coach Tom Thibodeau. He said, “Tom’s going to love him, because Donte is a grinder. He’s gritty and he plays hard every possession. Tom is going to love that.”

DiVincenzo’s Track Record and Potential Knicks’ Impact

During the past season, DiVincenzo, a former Villanova standout, averaged 9.4 points per game, boasting a .435 field-goal percentage and a .397 three-point percentage. Coupled with his .574 effective field goal rate, 4.5 total rebounds, and 3.5 assists, DiVincenzo establishes himself as a versatile role player, with the ability to start games if needed. He had a key role with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2020–21 season.

“His competitiveness is going to fit right in,” Kerr added, via the NY Post. “The Knicks really struck me as a competitive group last year. That’s real, those guys are champions together from college. I think that connection will help, and then he’ll give them another two-way player, another guy who can handle the ball and play off of it, and defend on the other end. Guys like that are super-valuable.”

The Villanova Connection: Key to Team Chemistry

Fostering the Villanova link between DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, and Brunson will undoubtedly bolster team chemistry and mutual discipline. Having such familiarity, particularly with respect to individual playing styles, can contribute greatly to overall team efficiency.

While Thibodeau is renowned for his disciplined approach and demanding workload for starters, DiVincenzo could potentially serve as a bench player if the Knicks continue to view Quentin Grimes as their main sharpshooter.

Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness a positional contest between DiVincenzo and Grimes, as they both possess similar qualities. DiVincenzo’s experience, however, might give him an edge. Regardless of who wins the starting spot, both players will play significant roles in the upcoming season, with the aim of enhancing the Knicks’ three-point shooting.

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