He’s here, and he’s perfect. After signing a four-year deal this summer, Donte DiVincenzo experienced his first New York Knicks Media Day alongside a few of his Villanova buddies.
New York’s desire to sign DiVincenzo was apparent before free agency began. Fans had to wait until the second day of the frenzy for the report that the former Warriors guard had agreed to sign with the Knicks hours after Obi Toppin was traded. The front office didn’t take long to fill the open rotation spot.
The DiVincenzo signing helped to address one of New York’s major needs — three-point shooting. He’s also a gritty defender and a winning player, evident from his collegiate and professional resume. Steve Kerr and Golden State would’ve liked to keep DiVincenzo around for more than a year, but the Warriors couldn’t afford him, leading to the path for him to sign with the Knicks.
Yes, there’s the Villanova connection, but when DiVincenzo was asked about why he chose New York, he said:
Donte DiVincenzo points to Knicks’ winning record when asked why he signed with New York
Five years ago, New York finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 17-65 record. Big-name players like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving were all free agents that offseason, and although Durant and Irving were expected to sign with New York, they opted for Brooklyn instead.
In retrospect, that was a blessing in disguise, but that’s beside the point. There wasn’t a player who wanted to sign with the Knicks because they liked to win. After all, the Knicks weren’t winning.
Donte DiVincenzo isn’t a star like the names mentioned above, but he was a sought-after player on the free agency market, and New York was his top choice.
There’s no way around it: the Knicks got better by adding DiVincenzo. The Villanova connection certainly helps, but as DiVincenzo said, that isn’t something he wants them to get “carried away with.”
Fans will have to wait another week to see Donte DiVincenzo take the floor in a Knicks uniform for the first time in the team’s first preseason game and three more weeks to see him play in a meaningful game. The wait will be worth it, though.