In an intriguing turn of events, the New York Knicks may be on the verge of constructing a team composed entirely of Villanova standouts. With the dynamic duo of Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart already in place, they are rumored to be eyeing a third addition to this mix.
Josh Hart’s Anticipated Extension
Josh Hart’s upcoming decision on his player option and potential extension with the Knicks this offseason is a pivotal point of interest. However, the prevalent expectation is that he will be retained.
Hart is reportedly already trying to persuade Donte DiVincenzo, who is likely to opt out of his player option with the Golden State Warriors, to join the Knicks in pursuit of a championship.
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Knicks’ Interest in Donte DiVincenzo
DiVincenzo, a standout utility player from Golden State, is purportedly on the Knicks’ radar, much to the delight of Brunson and Hart.
“To that end, several influential members of the organization support the idea of signing Donte DiVincenzo in free agency this summer,” Ian Begley of SNY wrote Thursday morning. “DiVincenzo has a player option for 2023-24. The Knicks, as currently constituted, will have access to the $12.2 million non-tax player exception in the offseason.”
Having completed a solid 2022-2023 season at the age of 26, DiVincenzo is on the lookout for a long-term home, and the Knicks might be the perfect fit.
Last season, he averaged 9.4 points per game, shooting .435% from the field, with an impressive near 40% success rate from downtown. DiVincenzo’s overall performance was further enhanced by a .817 free throw average, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
Overcoming Financial Challenges
The Knicks’ potential financial hurdles could put a damper on their plans. They currently have $139.1 million allocated towards the 2023-24 season. However, if they reject Derrick Rose’s team option of $15.6 million and offload Evan Fournier, thus saving $18.8 million in salary space, they would free up a substantial amount to secure players like Hart and DiVincenzo.
The challenge, however, lies in their ambition to acquire a superstar to pair with Brunson and Randle, which would require offloading a substantial contract, possibly involving Randle or RJ Barrett.
Creative Solutions to Roster Upgrades
With a few strategic maneuvers, the Knicks could make several moves to enhance their roster, though this would require creative solutions to their salary situation. The team does have access to a $12 million non-taxpayer exemption and a $4.5 million biannual exception.
Immanuel Quickley, whom the Knicks aim to retain beyond the upcoming season, is expected to command more than $15 million per year after the remaining $4.17 million salary this upcoming season.
Crucial Decisions Ahead for the Knicks
Evidently, the Knicks’ front office faces several tough decisions in the near future, including potentially sacrificing valuable players to the open market. However, with one more year to compete for a championship, they remain focused on building a robust roster boasting both solid starters and depth pieces.