Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart React After Knicks Sign Donte DiVincenzo

Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, New York Knicks

Getty Jalen Brunson #1 of the Villanova Wildcats celebrates with Donte DiVincenzo #10, Josh Hart #3 in 2017.

The New York Knicks reunited Donte DiVincenzo with his college teammates Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, hoping to rekindle the magic of their 2016 Villanova championship run.

Brunson and Hart quickly reacted on Twitter after DiVincenzo agreed to join them with a four-year, $50 million deal on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Hart took it even further with a tweet tagging their other former Villanova teammate in New York, rising star Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets.

Hart paved the way for the DiVincenzo signing when he opted into his $12.9 million player options to help the Knicks open up the non-taxpayer midlevel exception. Then the Knicks sent Obi Toppin to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for two second-round picks to get them under the $172.3 million hard cap and open up a rotation spot for DiVincenzo.

Barring any star trade, it appears the Knicks’ rotation for next season is already locked with DiVincenzo.

The 26-year-old DiVincenzo declined his $4.7 million player option with the Golden State Warriors for a much-deserved raise following a solid season. He averaged 9.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 72 regular-season games, including 36 starts, while shooting a career-high 39.7% from 3 a healthy 5.3 attempts per game.

After Hart left for the NBA, Brunson and DiVincenzo won one more national title in 2018 before their jump to the pros.

Now, they are aiming to win at the NBA level together.

Knicks Trade Obi Toppin to Pacers

Before moving to sign DiVincenzo, the Knicks finalized a trade that sent Toppin to their conference rival Indiana Pacers in exchange for two second-round picks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It was an underwhelming package for a former lottery pick who never got the chance to realize his potential in New York. With no clear pathway to playing significant minutes behind two-time All-Star Julius Randle and his extension looming, it was time for both the Knicks and Toppin to move on.

The trade signals the end of a frustrating three seasons for Toppin in his hometown New York, where he averaged just 7.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14.7 minutes off the bench.

Proposed Trade Lands Knicks James Harden

ESPN front office insider projected what a Knicks package could look like in a potential trade for James Harden.

“I was brainstorming what would look good for New York, and I had a hard time. It might cost them a little bit. I don’t think [the] Knicks fans are going to be happy for what I’m going to [suggest] right now,” Marks said on ESPN Sportscenter.

New York receives: James Harden

Philadelphia receives: Immanuel Quickley, Isaiah Hartenstein, Evan Fournier, 2024 1st round pick via Detroit (top-18 protected)

The 3-for-1 trade would open up one more rotation spot at center, potentially for Jericho Sims, who is on track to recover from a shoulder injury.

It will also reunite Quickley with his former running mate at Kentucky, Tyrese Maxey, and a shot at starting, which is dicey in New York with Brunson blossoming into a rising star.

If the Knicks pull off a Harden trade, it will be an interesting mix at the backcourt with Brunson and Harden together.









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