Sad Report: Knick MVP announce his departure due to team crisis

Why Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein’s contract limitation opens the door to leave
The New York Knicks have a massive offseason ahead of them. The Knicks have advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the second time in a row, putting them in a position to be real title contenders. However, the team enters the offseason with the risk of losing important members of its core rotation. In addition to OG Anunoby’s expected decision to opt out of his contract and become a free agency, Isaiah Hartenstein is poised to become perhaps the greatest big man available.

Hartenstein, who joined the Knicks in 2022 as a backup center to Mitchell Robinson, quickly became one of the team’s most effective players when Robinson was absent due to injury. The 2023-24 season was Hartenstein’s best yet, as he started 49 of 75 games, averaging 7.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 64.4 percent from the field. He finished fifth in total offensive rebounds this season and tied for 19th in total rebounds across the league.

That’s why Hartenstein was so essential to the Knicks this season.

Finally establishing his worth under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, the Knicks are not in the best position to keep their big man this season. Financially, New York is limited in what it can offer Hartenstein in free agency compared to other clubs in the league.

What can the Knicks offer?
Hartenstein was never given the opportunity to show off his skills with the Houston Rockets or Denver Nuggets early in his career. This resulted in him having one foot out the door before signing a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2020-21 season.

Following a great performance in Cleveland, Hartenstein signed a minimum contract with the Los Angeles Clippers to serve as Ivica Zubac’s backup during the 2021-22 season. In Los Angeles, Hartenstein was finally able to show that he belonged in this league and that a team only needed to use him for his rebounding and interior presence.

Ultimately, his success led to a two-year, $16 million contract offer from the Knicks. This proved to be a steal for the Knicks, as Hartenstein helped shape the team’s identity as a major rebounder. His tenacity and ability to knock down floaters in the lane simply enhanced Hartenstein’s presence in New York.






Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.