The New York Knicks are signing Donte DiVincenzo to a four-year, $50 million deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will take up New York's entire non-taxpayer mid-level exception, hard-capping them at first luxury tax apron of $172 million for the season. In New York, DiVincenzo will reunite with former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, all three of whom were on the 2016 Wildcats national championship team.
DiVincenzo was at one time expected to earn a bigger deal than this as an ascending guard for the Milwaukee Bucks. However, an ankle injury early in the 2021 playoffs knocked him out of Milwaukee's championship run, and his disappointing 2021-22 season forced him to take a discount to join the Golden State Warriors last season. He played well enough there to rebuild mid-level value, though, and now, he joins a Knicks team ready to take the next step towards contention.
While New York's offense excelled in the regular season, it struggled to score in the playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. Earlier on Saturday, the Knicks traded backup power forward to the Indiana Pacers in a move designed to help clear extra financial flexibility to land DiVincenzo. Now, with DiVincenzo, Brunson, Hart, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and RJ Barrett all on the team, New York will have to go a bit smaller and use some of those players at backup small forward and power forward just to get them the minutes that they deserve.
If they can squeeze everyone onto the court, though, the Knicks should have an easier time scoring in the half court when it counts. DiVincenzo needs badly needed shooting and supplementary playmaking, and while his defense hasn't quite returned to the level it was at when he was a Buck, he should be able to fit into Tom Thibodeau's scheme and culture comfortably.
The Knicks are still in the hunt for a superstar, and have been linked to James Harden since his desire for a trade became apparent. Should they land a bigger fish, DiVincenzo can easily play off of bigger names as he did in Milwaukee and Golden State. But if the Knicks ask more of him without a superstar in place, he should be able to deliver a genuine offensive upgrade for them right away.