The idea of acquiring a star point guard like Damian Lillard or Chris Paul is undoubtedly exciting for the New York Knicks, but they have one untested option currently on the roster they have yet to unlock during a regular-season game.
Prior to the Knicks taking on the Atlanta Hawks in the postseason, the organization quietly landed Argentinian PG Luca Vildoza.
Vildoza previously played for the EuroLeague last season with Baskonia, averaging 10.1 points, 3.4 assists, and shot .410 from the field. He was an adequate player, showcasing stellar vision and scoring prowess, but heâ€™s looking to take his talents to the NBA, where he can test his capabilities at a higher level.
The Argentinian native will feature during the Summer League with Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, giving the three an opportunity to showcase their skillset and hopefully developed a bit of chemistry ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Vildoza will join the team after a stint with the Argentinian national squad during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which will run from July 23 to August 8. This will give the Knicks a better opportunity to realize his abilities and how they can further deploy him next season.
However, he could be a factor that plays into their free agency plans, especially if the team is looking to acquire a star PG and potentially retain Derrick Rose. If the front office looks to keep Rose on a one-year deal, it could push Vildoza down the depth chart, especially with a Quickley looking to take a developmental step in his sophomore season.
However, the addition of Vildoz shouldnâ€™t deter the Knicks from keeping Rose around for another year, nor should it damage their chances of landing Lillard or Paul. The Knicks are currently the favorites to land Lillard in a blockbuster trade.
Former Nick, Pablo Prigioni, who previously played for the squad back in 2012, had only great things to say about Luca and his qualities. Ranging from his adequate shot to court vision, Pablo believes he can be a solid player at the NBA level, and his transition will be interesting to watch.
â€œ[Vildoza is] really, really good,â€™â€™ Prigioni told The Post in a phone interview. â€œI really like him. Very talented, got a great shot, and knows how to pass. Iâ€™m really excited to see Luca next season with the Knicks. Tomâ€™s going to like him.â€™â€™
If the Knicks truly maximize Vildoza next season, they will have a deep PG position, given they add another playmaker to the equation. He is one player we shouldn’t overlook — he’s 100% is factored into their future plans.