Sources: Knicks still plan to add Ryan Arcidiacono as depth piece

Ryan Arcidiacono, knicks

Ryan Arcidiacono will still become a Knick after all.

The New York Knicks will sign Arcidiacono to a standard 10-day contract on Thursday, sources told Empire Sports Media. The Knicks previously announced that they had signed the former Chicago Bulls’ guard to a 10-day contract via the hardship exemption rule. But the league voided the deal after several Knicks players cleared the health and safety protocols. It turned out the Knicks no longer have a COVID-19 replacement player allowance.

Beginning January 5, NBA teams with an open roster spot can sign a player to a standard 10-day contract. The Knicks recently waived Wayne Selden to absorb Denzel Valentine via trade and subsequently waived Valentine, opening up a roster spot.

Arcidiacono will serve as a depth piece in the Knicks point guard rotation after losing Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker to injuries.

Rose will not be back from an ankle surgery until late February, while Walker has yet to play since tweaking his knee during warmups in Oklahoma City last week. The good news is doctors did not find structural damage on Walker’s knee that required surgery.

“It came back positive — so just soreness,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said via Newsday. “He warmed up in OKC, tweaked something. He’s got some soreness, so we’ll let it clear up, and then we’ll go from there.”

There’s no timetable on Walker’s return, making the upcoming signing of Arcidiacono an insurance policy for the Knicks.

Arcidiacono’s new 10-day contract would count against the Knicks’ salary cap. The Knicks can sign Arcidiacono to a maximum of two 10-day contracts before deciding whether to retain or waive him.

Arcidiacono will make his season debut against the team that cut him in the training camp. The Knicks will have a home-and-away back-to-back schedule against the Boston Celtics on Thursday and Saturday.

After getting cut, Arcidiacono played with the Celtics G League affiliate, Maine, where he started in six games. He averaged impressive numbers — 12.7 points, 8.0 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 steals over 32.2 minutes of playing time.

Arcidiacono spent his first four seasons in the NBA with the Bulls averaging 4.8 points, 2.2 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in 17.6 minutes over 206 games, including 37 starts.

He played four seasons at Villanova, capping his stint with the Most Outstanding Player award in the Wildcats’ 2016 NCAA title run. He was also named First-Team All-Big East and Big East Co-Player of the Year as a junior in 2015. But despite his accolades, he went undrafted in the 2016 class headlined by Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. Valentine was the Bulls’ 14th overall pick.

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