The New York Knicks waived guard Luce Vildoza over the weekend, making the decision after spending the last few weeks with a foot injury making him unavailable to practice. Vildoza missing Summer League games and training camp, unfortunately, forced the Knicks to make a decision with the Argentinian native. Despite high hopes and expectations, he would develop into a quality NBA player, Luca will have to find an opportunity elsewhere as the Knicks will roll with a few younger options as the reserves.
When looking at the roster, the Knicks realistically have four point guards on the menu, including veterans Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker, and younger players like Miles McBride and Immanuel Quickley.
While Rose has already indicated that Walker will be the starter and he will likely manage the second team, don’t discount the impact that McBride and Quickley can have this upcoming season.
“He’s starting, he’s starting,” Rose said Monday. “Whatever it takes to just change the game. I’m not worried about minutes or playing time. I know Thibs is gonna handle that. But I feel like we have a deep team.”
Both Rose and Walker are essentially on two-year contracts, so the Knicks could hand over the keys during the 2023-24 season to McBride and Quickley, who will be role fillers this season with so much talent on the roster. Having so much depth at a position that was considered a weakness just a few months ago is a tremendous turn of events.
Last season, Quickley burst onto the scene as an alternative playmaker, but he is looking to develop his defensive qualities this off-season. Using the Summer League to work on his facilitating, he averaged an impressive 20.2 points and 7.8 assists over 33.5 minutes. While he won’t have the opportunity to lead the offense regularly, the Knicks may present him with a few minutes in garbage time. The second-year sharp-shooter will likely feature in the SG role, using his 3-PT efficiency to offer value.
McBride, who is composed of a strong defensive mentality, will use that skill set to get on the floor under head coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibs loves defensive players, which is why McBride caught his eye out of West Virginia during the draft.
With the biggest hands and wingspan of any point guard in the draft, McBride showed fantastic scoring prowess during Summer League play. He averaged 15.2 points, shooting 53.2% from the field and 50% from three point range, tallying 3.5 assists to go with it.
Having two different point guards that are just getting their feet wet in the NBA is excellent, especially as they continue to learn behind Walker and Rose, two established veterans with differing strengths and weaknesses.
The front office must be ecstatic with their young core of guards, potentially representing a long-term solution. In the meantime, they’ve also built a win-now duo to work as they keep their eyes on the future.
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