Knicks now have a position battle forming at shooting guard

quentin grimes, knicks
Feb 15, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) dribblers past Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have secured former Golden State Warriors shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo in a lucrative four-year, $50 million deal. This signing took place on Saturday afternoon, indicating the team’s focused strategy during the free agency period.

DiVincenzo’s Appeal: Adding Versatility and Three-Point Prowess

DiVincenzo was a highly sought-after asset for the Knicks. His connection with Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson from their shared time at Villanova and his ability to enhance the team’s offensive spacing and three-point shooting accuracy were major draws.

This acquisition was facilitated by a trade deal involving Obi Toppin moving to the Indiana Pacers, in exchange for two second-round picks. By doing so, the Knicks were able to use the mid-level player exemption on DiVincenzo’s contract, which averages $12.5 million per season.

Impending Battle for the Shooting Guard Spot

DiVincenzo’s arrival indicates a potential position contest for the shooting guard role. Quentin Grimes, who served as the primary starter in this position, could potentially be displaced by the seasoned DiVincenzo.

Last season, the 26-year-old DiVincenzo, averaged 9.4 points, shooting at .435 from the field and .397 from beyond the arc with Golden State. He also recorded a .574 effective field goal rate, along with 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.

DiVincenzo’s skill set includes proficiency in passing and scoring, making him a valued addition whether as a starter or rotational player. He started in 36 games last year with the Warriors, proving his capability in that role. His defensive record, marked by a 113.2 defensive rating, is notable, with his best season back in 2019 with the Milwaukee Bucks, achieving a 101.2 grade.

DiVincenzo vs. Grimes: A Comparison

In comparison, Grimes averaged 11.3 points last season, including a .468 field-goal percentage and a .386 three-point shooting percentage, contributing to a .599 effective field-goal rate. He also managed 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

Grimes had an impressive season, averaging almost 30 minutes per game, whereas DiVincenzo’s playing time averaged at 26.3 minutes. Grimes started in 66 of 71 games, but his 117.0 defensive rating last season could make him vulnerable to DiVincenzo’s challenge.

While DiVincenzo has proven himself a reliable defender over a long period, Grimes’ potential is not to be discounted. However, the coaching staff will have to determine whether DiVincenzo’s potential as a starter outweighs his contributions as a rotational player.

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