New Warriors Guard Predicted to Win Major NBA Award

Donte DiVincenzo, now of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Donte DiVincenzo, now of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors had one of the most impressive rosters in the association last season, as evidenced by… them winning a championship. But the point is, their roster provided a unique mix of experience, youthfulness, and talent, which is what made it so special.

And despite losing three of their key rotational pieces from last season, the team acted quickly in finding replacements. They inked JaMychal Green to a contract and scooped up Donte DiVincenzo in free agency as well. And the latter of those two signings has already received some high praise.

In an article for Bleacher Report on August 18, Zach Buckley wrote about bold predictions for Golden State’s top offseason additions. For DiVincenzo, Buckley predicted that he would win the Sixth Man of the Year award in the upcoming season. And while that may seem out of left field, he believes DiVincenzo will fit in seamlessly with the Warriors.

“Normally, it’s best to reserve judgment about a player in a new place until they have a chance to get some run with their new team. Every once in a while, though, the fit looks so perfect on paper that it’s fair to assume it will prove just as seamless in practice,” Buckley wrote.

He believes that DiVincenzo should be able to replace Gary Payton II and then some.


How DiVincenzo Will Help Warriors

Losing Payton was a huge blow, and while DiVincenzo doesn’t boast the exact same skillset, he does help the Warriors improve in certain areas. His offensive game is more well-rounded, and Buckley even included a quote from fellow Bleacher Report writer Dan Favale, who thinks that DiVincenzo could have a huge comeback season after dealing with injuries in the first half of last year.

“That’s the case for Donte DiVincenzo, who can help replace some of Payton’s defensive peskiness while adding new layers to this offense as a shooter, shot-creator and off-ball cutter.

“’If DV both stays healthy and hits enough of his catch-and-shoot triples … the Warriors just scooped up one of free agency’s biggest steals,’ Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale wrote,” Buckley noted.

DiVincenzo was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Sacramento Kings around the trade deadline last year. In the 42 total games he played with both teams, the 6’4 shooting guard averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 35.1% shooting from the field and 33.9% shooting from distance.

Buckley even compared him to two of Golden State’s top guards from last year’s rotation.


DiVincenzo Provides Blend of Offense and Defense

While DiVincenzo’s offensive numbers may not pop off of the page, it’s important to remember that he was recovering from an injury last year. Plus, his defensive impact goes beyond the box score. Buckley believes he can give the Warriors a mix of Payton’s defense and Jordan Poole’s offense.

“A healthy DiVincenzo—it took time for him to fully recover from a May 2021 ankle injury—can serve as something of a blend of Payton’s defense and Jordan Poole’s slippery offense. In a best-case scenario, DiVincenzo makes himself invaluable to the Dubs at both ends and receives enough run to take home the honor of being the season’s top substitute,” Buckley explained.

Now, DiVincenzo isn’t going to come in and average as much as Poole, but if he can get back to full strength, he could be a sneaky bet to win Sixth Man of the Year (if Poole doesn’t win it himself).

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