Sources: Knicks guard Luca Vildoza expected to arrive in United States on Friday

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Luca Vildoza
Luca Vildoza

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.

Vildoza is eligible to participate in the playoffs but he is not part of New York’s postseason plans at the moment, league sources say.

Of course, several Knicks could get injured during the Hawks series or become unavailable due to the NBA’s COVID protocols. In that case, Vildoza could be used in an emergency situation.

But there currently are no plans for him to participate in the playoffs. If so, the next spot Vildoza could suit up for the Knicks could be in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League, which is scheduled for August 8-17. But Vildoza's schedule with the Argentenian National Team may conflict with NBA Summer League.

Thibodeau on Wednesday talked about the important role that players like Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina play in practice. Practices in advance of the playoffs are crucial because they allow teams to prepare their opponent.

So putting Vildoza in live practices at this point of the season could potentially disrupt the way the Knicks have approached their practices.

New York signed Vildoza to a four-year, $13.6 million deal earlier this month. The final three years of Vildoza’s deal are non-guaranteed.

Vildoza needed to clear the immigration process before he could travel to the United States. His travel plans were published on Thursday by a Twitter account managing Vildoza’s communications.