NBA rumors: Knicks waive Luca Vildoza

The New York Knicks announced today that the team has waived guard Luca Vildoza. Vildoza, 6-3, 190-pounds, was originally signed on May 6, 2021, after spending four seasons in the EuroLeague, Liga ACB and the FIBA World Cup. The Argentinian guard appeared in two Summer League games for New York in Last Vegas, NV.

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Tommy Beer: Knicks announce they have waived Luca Vildoza. Not all surprising - considering his inability to impress this summer. The move opens up a roster spot and clears $3.3 million in salary.
Meanwhile, the Knicks’ other international signing, Spanish leaguer Luca Vildoza, has not panned out. He’s missed the last three games with a sore foot after going scoreless in the opening two contests. He also had a spotty Olympics for Argentina. Signed last May, Vildoza got a four-year, $13.4 million non-guaranteed deal and already collected the first season. The Knicks have until the day after the season opener to release him before the second year of the deal is guaranteed.
Knicks guard Luca Vildoza is expected to be in the United States on Friday, league sources confirm. Once Vildoza arrives, he will need to undergo six days of COVID-19 testing as part of NBA’s protocols before he can be around members of the Knicks organization. If Vildoza, a EuroLeague standout, arrives on Friday and begins testing on Saturday, he could be cleared by next Friday.
Once he clears league COVID-19 protocols, Vildoza is expected to practice with members of the Knicks coaching staff, league sources say. Prior to signing with the Knicks, Vildoza had been playing in Spain with Baskonia, where he averaged 10.1 points per game on 41 percent shooting in 25.2 minutes per contest. He was also shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc this season. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said recently that Vildoza was unlikely to play with the Knicks during the postseason.
The Knicks’ newly signed combo guard Luca Vildoza is flying into New York Friday and will wear the number of an old Knicks icon when he arrives, according to a Spanish-language Twitter account run by his press team. Vildoza is slated to don “17,’’ the number of former Knicks PG Jeremy Lin – aka Linsanity.
Vildoza, 25, who played for Baskonia of the Spanish League, signed a four-year, $13.6 million deal earlier this month. The final three years aren’t guaranteed. Vildoza’s second season becomes guaranteed the day after the season opener, The Post reported. He will make $3.5 million this season – minus his Spanish buyout. The signing costs the Knicks players a bonus of $200,000 because the team no longer is under the salary-cap minimum.
Bobby Marks: New York was $2.45M below the minimum salary floor and this signing will now push them over. We saw this occur with OKC and Gabriel Deck. Smart concept of targeting an international player now (with $$ that would have been lost) compared to waiting until the offseason.
Luca Vildoza, an Argentinian guard with Baskonia of the Spanish ACB League, has agreed in principle to a four-year, $13.6 million deal with the New York Knicks, his agent, Alex Saratsis of Octagon Sports, told ESPN.
Vildoza, one of the premier playmakers in Europe, will fly to New York once he clears the immigration process. There's no clear timetable on his arrival this season, based upon immigration, physicals and protocols.
The Knicks had the salary cap space and roster spot to get ahead of summer free agency and secure Vildoza now. Vildoza, 25, would've been one of the top available free agent point guards in the 2021 summer marketplace.
Ian Begley: After a late change of plans, NYK will not sign Simi Shittu, sources say. Club has an open roster spot. Sources confirm NYK has been in talks with Argentinian G Luca Vildoza to add him to roster. @Jorge Sierra reports there’s a deal in place. @Chema de Lucas earlier reported talks.
Jorge Sierra: Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza is expected to sign a deal with the New York Knicks, HoopsHype has learned. There's already an agreement in place for a buyout between Vildoza and Baskonia.
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In the aftermath of Sunday night’s 125-102 loss to the Jazz, Aaron Gordon offered perhaps the most forceful defense Nikola Jokic has ever received from a teammate regarding officiating. “It’s crazy that Jok doesn’t get more free throws,” Gordon began. “Jok was 3 for 3 from the free-throw line. That’s unbelievable. … The fact that Jok was 3 for 3 from the free-throw line is just not even right. He’s fouled every play. Obviously, the refs aren’t going to call it every play. They’re all over his arms, they’re all over his body, they’re grabbing him. He’s just not officiated the same way as everybody else. “It’s not right,” Gordon continued. “He’s the reigning MVP of the league, and he’s getting three free throws a game, still doing what he’s doing. But he needs more foul calls because they’re fouling. It’s not like begging, it’s not asking for something that’s not there. We’re just asking for him to be officiated like everybody else is being officiated because that’s not right. He’s being fouled all the time. He needs more foul calls.”
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
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Former Thunder Gabriel Deck is back with Real Madrid

Following a brief NBA stint, Gabriel Deck is back for Real Madrid, head coach Pablo Laso confirmed Sunday. “We are talking about a player who has been determinant in each team he has already played. He will help us a lot. He will give us a lot of options on both sides of the court,” noted the experienced tactician after the ACB Regular Season Round 18 home win opposite Casademont Zaragoza, “The first time he came, we knew he would grow with us. He understands the game, he can play in and out, and his versatility is useful.”
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For years, Robertson would be shunned from a league that never attempted to find a place for him. But the players, the owners and the game won because Robertson demanded more. His fight delayed the merger of the NBA and the ABA for six years, and the 1976 settlement resulted in the Oscar Robertson Rule, which pushed players toward free agency and helped establish the modern NBA. “People tried to pooh-pooh that,” Robertson said of the rule that bears his name, “like it didn’t change basketball. It changed basketball forever. How could a player make $50 million a year playing basketball? I took a lot of heat for it. I’m still taking heat for it, I guess. But I think the Oscar Robertson Rule is really what propelled basketball to where it is today. Can you imagine guys sitting on the bench, averaging three or four points a game, making $10 million? I’m happy for them because I think it was on my watch that all these things happened. I just want people to know it.”
Robertson spoke to The Washington Post in advance of the NBA’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and near the anniversary of one of the most pivotal nights in league history: Jan. 14, 1964. That was when players locked arms inside a locker room at Boston Garden and threatened to strike during the first live-televised All-Star Game unless the league’s owners recognized their union and provided basic necessities, such as a trainer on every staff. Negotiations between the players and the owners, barricaded on the other side of the locker room, were contentious. “They received some real vile language while they were in there,” Robertson said with a laugh of the owners. They conceded to the players’ requests, and the game was played, with Robertson earning MVP honors. “From that point on, the association went forward. It elevated the players from being sandlot players to being real pros.”