Josh Hart wastes no time working to make Knicks-Villanova bond stronger

It didn’t take long for Josh Hart to react to the news that Donte DiVincenzo had agreed to sign a four-year, $50 million deal with the New York Knicks. In back-to-back years, the Knicks have added an unrestricted free agent from Villanova.

New York’s sights were set on DiVincenzo leading up to the start of free agency, and to help with the team’s financial flexibility, Hart exercised his $12.96 million player option for 2023-24. Hart knew what was coming.

After posting an edited picture of himself, DiVincenzo, and Jalen Brunson together in Knicks jerseys, Hart made a public recruiting pitch to Mikal Bridges. Similar to Hart, the now-Nets wing was traded to New York ahead of the deadline in February, but to Brooklyn.

Josh Hart hilariously works to recruit Mikal Bridges to Knicks after Donte DiVincenzo signing

Mikal Bridges has been a pretty good consolation prize for Nets fans after they watched James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant all request trades out of Brooklyn in the span of a year. The 26-year-old finished the 2022-23 regular season with the Nets averaging 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.6% from three.

Shortly after Brooklyn received Bridges in the Durant trade, the Grizzlies reportedly offered four first-round picks to the Nets for him. Brooklyn turned down that offer, which played in the organization’s favor. Bridges has been a positive for the Nets since day one.

He has three full seasons left on his contract before he’ll become an unrestricted free agent during the 2026 offseason. The Nets would have to be out of their minds to trade Bridges to their crosstown rival, but it’s nice for Knicks fans to dream about what it’d be like to see the Villanova trio turn into a Villanova quartet.

Donte DiVincenzo had other free agency offers, but the appeal of playing alongside Brunson and Hart again helped to sway him to agree to sign with the Knicks. Bridges would be lying if he said that he didn’t want to play with them again, too.

Knicks fans can appreciate Hart for recruiting (probably more like annoying) Mikal Bridges about making the move across the river, but it’s something that will likely never come to fruition.