If thereâ€™s anything to take away from New York Knicks point guard Luca Vildozaâ€™s performance with the Argentinian National Team, it is his stellar three-point shooting (8-of-19 over three games). While Argentina lost their third consecutive game during exhibition play in Las Vegas, with their most recent coming against Team USA, Vildoza was one of the only bright spots for his squad.
Having lost by 28 points, Luca understands that he must pick up the intensity, but he had the opportunity to guard some of the best players in basketball, including Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Zack LaVine, and Darius Garland.
Gaining essential experience against quality players will hopefully provide him a bit of momentum as he prepares to take on the NBA over a full season next year. Vildoza is excited to join New York on a four-year contract, and with Elfrid Payton and Derrick Rose hitting free agency, the 25-year-old is currently one of the only point guards on the active roster.
â€œIâ€™m really happy to be part of the historic team,â€™â€™ Vildoza to The Post about signing with the Knicks prior to the end of the 2020-21 season. â€œIâ€™ve been saying this for the last two months. For me, itâ€™s a dream since I was a child, I was dreaming of this day. When I got there, coach was there. Iâ€™ve been talking to him â€” one of the best coaches in the league. Itâ€™s so special. This is my chance to get here and get through to my dream.â€™â€™
Hopefully, Thibodeau will have a positive impact on Luca as he transitions to the NBA. Based on what we saw last season and the elevation of multiple players, we can imagine how his game will improve and progress at the next level. He undoubtedly has the right coaching staff and personnel around him to spur growth.
â€œIâ€™ve [been] doing this last two, three years in Europe and I know I can do it here,â€ said Vildoza. â€œToday was a test for me against the best players in the world. I felt really good against them, but we lost by 30, and I got to get better. I got work to do.â€™â€™
So the Knicks consider retaining Reggie Bullock?
One player New York could look to bring back is small forward Reggie Bullock, who is an unrestricted free agent this off-season. Having signed a two-year, $8.2 million deal in 2019, Bullock served an efficient purpose, averaging 10.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and connected on 41% of his three-point attempts over 6.1 shots per game. Overall, he had a positive impact on the roster last season, so bringing him back could be a productive move, considering his price tag and the fact he averaged 30 minutes per game.
Aside from Bullockâ€˜s obvious qualities on offense, he was a solid defender for the Knicks and has the versatility to play shooting guard as well. At 30 years old, he might earn a tad more based on his season last year, which included career-high minutes per game, but it shouldnâ€™t be anything worth ignoring his value over.
What do you think about the idea of retaining Bullock? Comment below!