New York Knicks Leon Rose
New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have acquired guard Josh Hart from the Portland Trail Blazers for wing Cam Reddish and a protected first-round pick, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Hart, 27, thrived as a swingman with Portland this season. The 6-foot-5 wing is averaging 9.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on the year. Hart has also been remarkably effective, shooting over 50% from the field. He’s only made 30.4% of his threes, but his true shooting percentage (TS%) is 58.6% on the year.

Cam Reddish, by comparison, was a non-factor in coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. He’s averaging 8.4 points, but hasn’t played since Dec. 3 despite being healthy. He can now get a fresh start in Portland alongside Damian Lillard, and playing for a Blazers team fighting for a playoff spot.

In Josh Hart, meanwhile, the Knicks fill two key needs. Hart won’t score much, but will provide just enough off the bench to make a difference. This should help ease the load off of Immanuel Quickley, who has struggled with his shooting this season.

Hart is also a solid defender, posting an 0.8 defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) this season. Playing for the defense-minded Thibodeau, he should put up even better defensive numbers in New York. Hart’s defense also gives the Knicks a reliable wing behind Quentin Grimes.

Josh Hart isn’t a dead-eye shooter like former fan favorite Reggie Bullock. Nor is he the same type of two-way threat as OG Anunoby, who the Knicks were linked to last week.

Rather, Hart is a hard worker who should fit right into Thibodeau’s system. It also doesn’t hurt that he and Jalen Brunson were teammates at Villanova and thus know how to play together.

And speaking of Brunson, he seems pretty happy about the deal:

Be it off the bench or in the starting lineup, Hart fills what’s been a big hole in the Knicks’ rotation.

Stay tuned to ESNY for more NBA trade deadline updates.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.