NBA draft profile: Villanova G Donte DiVincenzo

NBA draft profile: Villanova G Donte DiVincenzo

Donte DiVincenzo     

Position: Guard

Height: 6-4

Weight: 200

School: Villanova

The Michael Jordan of Delaware has come a long way from his first season at Villanova. After leading Salesianum High School to two state titles, DiVincenzo came to Jay Wright as a highly-touted prospect. He struggled initially, most notably with his defense. He was redshirted in 2015-16 after playing very little in nine games.

During his redshirt freshman season, DiVincenzo began carving out his role with the Wildcats, averaging 25.5 minutes a contest and becoming a big part of Wright’s rotation. This past season, DiVincenzo became a star. After being named Big East Sixth Man of the Year, DiVincenzo had a phenomenal NCAA Tournament that culminated in him being named Most Outstanding Player of the Championship Game. 

During his breakout season, DiVincenzo averaged 13.4 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 40 percent from three. 

DiVincenzo’s biggest and perhaps most underrated strength is his athleticism. He’s quick and he can jump out of the building. The blocks he had in the championship were just a couple of the many blocks where he demonstrated his explosive leaping ability. 

He was instant offense off the bench for Villanova and that should translate to the NBA. He’s a three-level scorer. He’s proven he can shoot the three, shoot off the dribble in the midrange and finish at the rim. Again, his athleticism allows him to finish and he’s strong enough to do so through contact. At times, he ran the point, providing some versatility as a combo guard. He has decent vision and feel.

That redshirt year must’ve made DiVincenzo hungry because you would’ve never known he struggled defensively. He’s a pesky defender with the quickness to guard ones and twos. He’s not afraid to be physical. He’s also a very good rebounder for his size.

At just under 6-foot-4, he’s a little undersized for an NBA two. He ran the offense at times for Villanova but it’s not necessarily his strength. His points tend to come in bunches and his shooting can be inconsistent. When he doesn’t have it going, he has a tendency to force things instead of letting the game come to him. 

He’s not long and he’s more of a solid team defender than a strong on-the-ball defender.

NBA comparison
There’s a little Tim Hardaway Jr. to DiVincenzo’s game. Both players have great athleticism and both can score on all three levels. They also both score in bunches and struggle with shooting from long range consistently. Neither player is particularly long or a lockdown defender, but both play with great energy and play solid team defense. Like DiVincenzo, Hardaway Jr. also came from a successful college program and played in big games.

How he'd fit with Sixers
DiVincenzo could be an impact player off the Sixers’ bench almost immediately. With his experience in college and microwave scoring, he’d be a welcome addition. DiVincenzo could fit into Marco Belinelli’s role but offer much more athleticism, ball handling ability and defense, though the Sixers would obviously lose experience.

Draft projection
This is interesting. Early in the process, DiVincenzo was projected to go in the late 20s or maybe even in the second round. After tearing up the combine, there’s no way he makes it past No. 30. His draft stock has taken a similar rise to DeAndre’ Bembry’s a couple years back, when the St. Joe’s wing was taken 21st overall by Atlanta. Will he make it to 26? Possibly, and the Sixers should take a long look if he does.

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Nets owner Joe Tsai fined $35,000 for public comments 'detrimental to the NBA'

AP Images/Ng Han Guan

Nets owner Joe Tsai fined $35,000 for public comments 'detrimental to the NBA'

The Nets, a game away from being eliminated by the Sixers, have not been shy about voicing their displeasure with the refereeing in the series.

After general manager Sean Marks was suspended one game and fined $25,000 for entering the referees' locker room following Game 4, owner Joe Tsai expressed his support for Marks' actions.

Monday, the NBA fined Tsai $35,000 for public comments "detrimental to the NBA."

Tsai, the co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, owns 49 percent of the Nets. 

Marks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, was "livid" that the Flagrant 1 fouls on Joel Embiid in Games 2 and 4 were not called Flagrant 2s, and wanted to send a message. Tsai wholeheartedly backed that message.

In the Last Two Minute Report from Game 4, the league said that the referees missed a foul by Tobias Harris on Jarrett Allen with 12 seconds remaining and the Nets looking to tie the game.

Nets players and executives have now been fined a total of $85,000 after Game 4 and its contentious aftermath (Jared Dudley — $25,000; Marks — $25,000; Tsai — $35,000). Jimmy Butler ($15,000) is the only Sixer to incur a fine from the league this series. 

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Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) listed as probable for Sixers-Nets Game 5

Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) listed as probable for Sixers-Nets Game 5

Joel Embiid was doubtful for Game 1 with left knee soreness, questionable for Games 2 and 3, and doubtful again for Game 4. For Game 5 of the Sixers’ first-round playoff series against the Nets, he’s checked off another injury designation — probable.

At practice Monday, Embiid told reporters of his status, “Gotta keep ‘em guessing.”

It’s clear at this stage how Embiid is listed in the injury report doesn’t reveal much. He played after being designated as “doubtful” for Games 1 and Game 4. He missed Game 3 after being officially questionable and saying pregame his knee was getting better “slowly but surely.”

Even he doesn’t seem sure of how his knee will respond on any given day.

“The body reacts differently every day,” he said Thursday. “I might feel good after the game and then in two days, maybe feel it. So I just gotta manage it.”

It’s still difficult to discern what the practical implications of managing his pain and maintaining his conditioning are for his game-to-game status.

If you believe the NBA’s official injury report, it means he’ll likely play Tuesday night in Game 5 as the Sixers, up 3-1 over the Nets, aim to advance to the second round.

At this point, though, Embiid and the Sixers have made it hard to put much stock in that report. 

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