The Knicks desperately need more shooters off the bench. And they may have found one.
Per Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, there is “growing noise” about Donte DiVincenzo heading to New York and joining former Villanova teammates Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson. Hart is also a free agent and recently agreed with the Knicks to extend his player option deadline. This is just a precursor to a new contract.
The Knicks would be smart to add DiVincenzo. He spent last season with the Golden State Warriors and fared well both in the lineup and off the bench. DiVincenzo averaged 9.4 points per game while shooting a career-best 39.7% from three. He was also efficient with his shot and had a true shooting percentage (TS%) of 59.3%. DiVincenzo was also a solid defender and averaged just over a steal per game.
It’s no secret that the Knicks desperately could have used someone like DiVincenzo in the playoffs last season. Usual three-point threat Immanuel Quickley vanished along with Julius Randle. This left New York without a much-needed shooter to counter the Heat’s faster pace.
Think of the Knicks’ lineup heading into next year. Brunson isn’t going anywhere, nor is Hart. Odds are RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson will be back too, as will three-and-D Quentin Grimes. Quickley will be in his contract year. Randle should be traded, but that’s another story.
Now consider that fan favorite Obi Toppin, despite his popularity and great dunks, may be on the outs with coach Tom Thibodeau. This isn’t shocking since Tobbin has always been streaky and never plays consistent minutes. Not exactly a match for Thibs’ disciplined defensive system.
A few pre-draft notes on the Knicks, Paul George, Obi Toppin, Miles McBride and Donte DiVincenzo: pic.twitter.com/AGiXXBgqbb
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 22, 2023
It makes more sense for the Knicks to move on from Toppin and add DiVincenzo. Yes, they’ll need to add another power forward, but that extra shooter should be the bigger priority.
And silly as it sounds, the Villanova connection matters. All three players won a national title with the Wildcats in 2016, with Brunson and DiVincenzo winning a second in 2018. They just have this competitive nature and desire to win baked into them and it carried over to the Knicks, especially with Hart. New York went 17-8 after acquiring him from Portland in February.
It’s clear that Hart and Brunson are trying to change the culture around the Knicks. No more being the laughingstock of the NBA. Focus on winning games and, hopefully, championships. Adding Donte DiVincenzo would only reinforce that.
Fischer reports the Minnesota Timberwolves are also interested in adding DiVincenzo. Luckily, the Knicks can offer a bit more than simple cash.
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