Knicks fans who want more of Josh Hart might soon get their wish, and beyond just this season.
Appearing on his HoopsHype podcast with SNY’s Ian Begley, NBA insider Michael Scotto reported Hart would decline his $13 million player option this summer and sign a new deal with New York.
“Hart has almost a $13 million player option this summer, which he’s expected to decline and become a free agent,” Scotto said. “But fear not Knicks fans, Hart loves the fit in New York, and the Knicks want to re-sign him in free agency… I don’t see him leaving. I see him getting either a three or four-year deal at some point once he becomes eligible.”
The Knicks acquired Hart from the Portland Trail Blazers last month and have gone 9-1 since. He’s averaging 11.2 points and 5.9 rebounds over that stretch, and is also shooting an amazing 61.5% from the field.
Josh Hart has also been a great two-way player for the Knicks. His defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) since moving to New York is a stout 2.6. Hart’s offense has also improved, with his offensive box plus/minus (OBPM) a career-high 1.9 so far.
And though the idea of signing Josh Hart to a multiyear contract seems expensive, it will be money well spent. His two-way skills are ideal in coach Tom Thibodeau’s system. He and star point guard Jalen Brunson were teammates at Villanova and remain close friends. In fact, Brunson’s reaction to the trade said it all:
@jalenbrunson1 post jersey retirement ceremony finding out @joshhart was traded to the @nyknicks pic.twitter.com/bffT3HFzaA
— 🏀Nova Hoops (@Capj1344) February 9, 2023
Hart also knows how to keep things loose and that will only help on Thibodeau’s usually tight ship. Look at how effortlessly he has fun with the supposedly notorious New York media:
It’s truly a special time for Knicks basketball. The team is winning. Everyone at Madison Square Garden is happy.
Most important of all, it’s clear players want to come to New York again. Let’s see Josh Hart become the start of a greater trend.
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