The four-year, $50 million deal that Donte DiVincenzo agreed to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency has been made official. The Knicks’ lone free agency signing thus far will make $47 million guaranteed.
New York used most of its midlevel exception to sign the 26-year-old. A few hours before ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the signing, the Knicks agreed to trade Obi Toppin to the Pacers. That’s a move that had been foreshadowed for months, but it was a necessary one when it came to signing DiVincenzo because it opened up a rotation spot for the former Warriors guard.
Between this summer and last, New York has signed two inked two former Villanova players to deals. The Knicks were clowned for signing Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $104 million deal, but that’s a contract that should go down as one of the best (if not the best) in the history of the organization. Meanwhile, the DiVincenzo signing has raised some eyebrows, and not because of how he plays, but because of how his contract is structured.
Donte DiVincenzo’s Knicks contract has $750,000 worth of ‘unlikely bonuses’ each season
The Athletic’s Fred Katz went into detail (subscription required) about Donte DiVincenzo’s four-year contract. Katz explained that Jason Glushon, DiVincenzo’s agent, “is known around the industry to add fun quirks to his contracts.” For DiVincenzo, Glushon worked $750,000 worth of ‘unlikely bonuses’ into his contract for each season.
What are the requirements to receive those bonuses? If DiVincenzo makes it to the NBA Finals with the Knicks, wins MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, makes an All-NBA Team, makes an All-Defense team, or is named an All-Star, he’ll unlock part of those bonuses.
If you’re scratching your head while reading that list, you’re not alone. Out of everything listed, DiVincenzo is likeliest to win Sixth Man of the Year, but even that’s a long shot. As for New York making the NBA Finals, as great as that’d be, that’s a very long shot.
It’s all fun and games for DiVincenzo to have those unlikely bonuses worked into his contract until you realize that the $750,000 counts against the hard cap. Katz wrote:
"So, what happens if things go south in, say, Philadelphia midway through the season, and Joel Embiid says he wants out? The Knicks could have to include someone extra just to make the money work — and it could be because they agreed to include a series of delightful (but possibly hampering) bonuses for DiVincenzo."
While DiVincenzo’s bonuses are unlikely, the Knicks could likely make a move for a star either this offseason or midway through the 2023-24 season. New York has the combination of first-round picks and young players to trade for a star but is hard capped at $172 million after the DiVincenzo signing. The Knicks are expected to trade Evan Fournier sometime this summer to offload the $18.9 million that he’s set to make this upcoming season, but even that happening isn’t a guarantee.
Leon Rose is no fool, but DiVincenzo’s contract has understandably confused both Knicks fans and media members alike. Moving forward, it’ll be intriguing to see how New York will navigate a future trade for a star player, whoever that player will be.