Knicks’ Donte DiVincenzo Snubbed in NBA Voting Over Bizarre Rule

Donte DiVincenzo

Getty Donte DiVincenzo celebrates a made three-pointer during a March 8 game against the Orlando Magic.

Arguably the most underrated storyline to the New York Knicks 50-win campaign has been Donte DiVincenzo, who’s flourished into a starting caliber player.

He’s improved drastically on both sides of the ball. Many have argued he has a case for the league’s annual Most Improved Player award.

But according to CBS Sports’ James Herbert, he’s ineligible to be listed on ballots.

“DiVincenzo is not, however, eligible for the Most Improved Player award, under the rules of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement,” Herbert wrote on April 16. “He will not receive a single vote.”

Herbert went on to cite the rule that excludes DiVincenzo.

“…Specifically, a player must have played in at least (a) 65 Regular Season games, or (b) 62 Regular Season games, suffered a season-ending injury as determined in accordance with the CBA, and prior to suffering such injury had played in at least 85% of his team’s Regular Season games. A player is considered to have played in a Regular Season game for these purposes if he played at least 20 minutes of such game, provided that in respect of no more than two games per Regular Season, a player is considered to have played the game if he played at least 15 and fewer than 20 minutes.”

By that metric, DiVincenzo has played only 64 games this season, one short of eligibility.

“DiVincenzo missed only one game this season,” Herbert continued. “A Feb. 14 loss in Orlando in which he was out with hamstring soreness. For the purposes of award eligibility, 17 of the 81 games he played do not count.”

DiVincenzo comes up short. But his impact this season cannot be refuted. He’s proved one of the best signings of the last summer, and a potential X-factor for the playoffs.

DiVincenzo’s Season By the Numbers

After signing a four-year, $50-million deal last summer, DiVincenzo finished the 2023-2024 regular season averaging 15.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.

He made 283 threes, good for third in the NBA. Only Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic made more.

Of all players to attempt more than 500 threes this season, DiVincenzo ranked sixth in percentage at 40.1-percent. If you trim the modifiers to 600 or more three-point attempts, he finished second behind Curry.

He set a few Knicks records a long the way.

In a March 25 win over the Detroit Pistons, DiVincenzo connected on 11 of 20 three-point attempts. 11 made threes put him past Evan Fournier and J.R. Smith for most made in a game in franchise history.

DiVincenzo finished his first campaign in New York with 283 made threes, passing Fournier again for most in a New York season.

All that, for $10.9-million.

Meanwhile the Phoenix Suns signed Grayson Allen to a four-year, $70-million deal.

Comparing the two shows the difference $20-million can make.

Allen Deal Shows ‘Insane’ Value of DiVincenzo’s

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the news of Allen’s $70-million extension.

Tommy Beer, author of the “What’s On Tap with Tommy Beer?” newsletter’s first thought was about DiVincenzo’s contract.

New York’s starting shooting guard will make $11.4, $11.9, and $12.5 million over the next three seasons respectively.

Allen will make an average of $17.5 in that same span.

To Beer’s point, DiVincenzo started 63 games for a 50-win team, the second-seed Knicks. New York went 40-23 in that span.

Allen started 74 of 75 games played for a 46-win Suns team. Phoenix went 40-34 in those games.

The difference of those records stretched over an 82-game season is eight games, in DiVincenzo’s favor. Which makes you think.

Perhaps the biggest snub isn’t Donte DiVincenzo’s place in voting eligibility.

Maybe he’s underpaid.

Both can be true.

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