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Knicks sign Argentine star Luca Vildoza to 4-year, $13.6M contract ahead of free agency

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Luca Vildoza, one of the best playmakers in Europe, has agreed in principle to a four-year, $13.6 million deal with the New York Knicks ahead of free agency this summer, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

The Argentine guard is currently with Baskonia in the Spanish ACB League. The late Kobe Bryant praised Vildoza's play in 2019 and noted he could at some point play for the Los Angeles Lakers. The 6-foot-3 star was named MVP of the 2020 Spanish ACB finals, leading his team to the title, and is a member of the Argentina national team. 

He averaged 10.1 points on 41 percent shooting in 25.2 minutes per game in Euroleague play this year. 

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It's not clear when Vildoza would first be able to suit up for the Knicks, who are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Vildoza, 25, will have to clear the immigration process before flying to New York. There are also physicals and COVID-19 related protocols to go through. 

The Knicks were able to use salary cap space to add Vildoza before free agency this summer and lock him in before other teams had the chance. He would have been a top target. They helped open up room by converting Jared Harper's contract to a two-way deal, per Ian Begley at SNY.

Vildoza signed for three non-guaranteed years, per Wojnarowski, which enables New York to evaluate him through the Olympics in Tokyo, the summer league games and training camp. 

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