Luca Vildoza set to join Knicks, will wear Jeremy Lin’s number

Luca Vildoza is expected to arrive in New York this weekend, according to his camp. But he won’t be on the Knicks bench when they open up their first-round playoff series on Sunday at The Garden.

Vildoza, who signed a partially guaranteed four-year, $13.6 million deal with the Knicks, will have to clear health and safety protocols before joining the team.

The Argentinian guard also revealed that he would wear No. 17, the jersey number of former Knick Jeremy Lin who took New York and the NBA by storm in 2012 in a phenomenon dubbed as Linsanity.

But Vildoza had his own personal reasons in choosing No. 17.

“I’m going to wear 17. It’s my dog’s birthday and as a kid, it was my lucky number,” Vildoza said.

The 25-yeard old combo guard also shared that he’s excited to join the Knicks and realize his childhood dream.

“I’m very nervous. I doubt that (Derrick) Rose knows who I am. Knowing that I am going to share a season with him is a dream,” Vildoza said.

The Euroleague star is expected to clear the league’s health and safety protocols by next week. Still, he isn’t going to see action in the playoffs, as New York coach Tom Thibodeau indicated earlier.

“It’s going to take some time for him to get over here,” Thibodeau said. “Our scouts really liked him. We’ll have time to evaluate him over the summer.”

Even if he is reduced to an observer, the time he’ll spend with the Knicks during this playoff run will help him acclimatize himself with the city and the team’s schemes in time for his NBA Summer League debut.

Vildoza will also see action in the Tokyo Olympics with the Argentina national team.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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