New York Knicks Goalkeeper Luca Vildoza started his first NBA training camp on the wrong foot: a walking boot.
Vildoza, who has yet to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in the NBA Summer League last month, has been reduced to a spectator. And his chances of achieving his NBA dream are dwindling day by day.
“Listen, we’ve got a spot on the open list. Right now you’re relying on the guys who are available and can help the team the most, ”Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said when asked about Vildoza’s status.
But he was quick to add that they still have time to assess their list.
“We’ve got the whole (training) camp to figure that out. If you ask me today what happened in the fall and where we are now, I have a few thoughts. Leon (Rose) has some thoughts. But I think over time we will have more information, ”said Thibodeau. “We practice more. We play preseason games. And then look, ‘Okay, who is the best match for our squad and what do we need from this position. And so this is what we will consider before making the final decision.
The Knicks signed Vildoza to a three-year, partially guaranteed $ 13 million contract last May on the strong recommendation of their scouts. They have until October 21 or after the season opens to either guarantee his salary for the next season or clear his salary of $ 3.3 million for the second year.
Vildoza, who just turned 26, trained with the Knicks player development team for a month before joining Argentina in his Olympic quest. The Argentine guard had disappointed in the exhibition games in Las Vegas and Tokyo. Then the injury occurred two games in the NBA Summer League.
Vildoza is likely competing for 15th place in the roster against veteran guard Dwayne Bacon. He was brought in apparently on the strong recommendation of his former coach Steve Clifford, a good friend of Thibodeau’s.
Bacon, 26, who signed a contract with Exhibit 10 or a training camp, averaged a career-high 10.9 points last season, playing all 72 games for the Orlando Magic. Bacon also knows Knicks newcomers Kemba Walker (his teammate in Charlotte) and Evan Fournier (his teammate in Orlando).
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