A four-year pro from the Euro League, the 26-year old signed with the team in May.
Vildoza only suited up for two Summer League games with the Knicks before injuring his ankle and being sidelined.
New York announced their latest roster move by way of an announcement on their Twitter (@nyknicks) page Sunday:
This move opens up a roster spot, which will likely go to one of veteran wings Dwayne Bacon and Wayne Selden.
Training camp will decide that much, as well as the New York Knicks fast-approaching preseason slate.
Luca Vildoza’s NBA future now sits firmly in the air and is largely in question.
Thibodeau: ‘We Couldn’t Wait’
Head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke with the media on Sunday, shortly after the team announced the waiving of Luca Vildoza.
Based on his comments, it seems the decision can be credited (via the New York Post) to the guard’s ankle injury:
“You gotta make roster decisions this time of the year, and so availability is a big part of it. And we feel that the guys who are here, those are the guys that are fighting it out for that last spot. But he’s a good player and we wish him well.”
Thibodeau added that the team wasn’t willing to wait on Vildoza’s recovery:
“We couldn’t wait, and we just felt like we’ve had guys here all summer doing a really good job. So, we feel that’s the best decision for the team.”
As for who could earn the newly-opened roster spot, the Knicks head coach seemed to be leaning towards Wayne Selden:
“It’s a league that’s really driven by wings right now and so we like what he’s done in the league. We love what Wayne has done. Wayne has been terrific. He’s been here all summer. Wayne has done a really good job.”
The 27-year old veteran, who’s spent three seasons with three different teams, has played in 125 career games.
Selden has averaged 7.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in that span.
But his isn’t the only NBA career that will be boosted by Luca Vildoza’s exit.
Miles McBride, You’re Up
Presuming that the New York Knicks don’t sign a free agent point guard to fill Luca Vildoza’s roster spot, rookie Miles McBride stands to serve a greater role next season.
Drafted with the 36th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the West Virginia product showed off his defensive chops in Summer League, mounting confidence in his ability to contribute right now.
McBride averaged 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals over the six exhibition games.
And still, there’s a certain minute allotment to be had by McBride, especially if he continues his defensive efforts.
New York’s two featured point guards are 33 and 32 respectively, with a significant share of injuries in their past.
Should either guard end up missing time, it will be McBride who Thibodeau looks for to shore up the guard rotation.
Or in a more optimistic scenario, if the Knicks find themselves on the right side of a blowout game, McBride could see time as Rose and Walker rest for garbage time.
With no Luca Vildoza, Miles McBride is primed for an even bigger rookie season campaign under Tom Thibodeau.
And perhaps Wayne Selden, the journeyman veteran without a home, stands to gain some ground as well.