Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks and popular swingman Josh Hart have agreed to a four-year, $81 million contract extension according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The contract kicks in next season, as Hart had already picked up his $12.9 million option for this year. He was acquired from Portland at the trade deadline and was an immediate spark plug for the Knicks. In 25 games, he averaged 10.2 points and seven rebounds to go with a 3.4 Box Plus/Minus (BPM). Not bad for someone just 6-foot-4, 215 pounds.

Say what you want about Leon Rose and his refusal to meet with the media. This is another phenomenal decision from both himself and William “Worldwide” Wesley. Hart’s chemistry with star point guard Jalen Brunson was an incredible boon for the Knicks. Some might say it rallied the whole team to the East Semis.

Better yet, the higher-ups at Team USA noticed and invited both to represent their country in this year’s FIBA World Cup.

Best of all, the Knicks are looking back at last season’s success at running it back the right way. This won’t be like coach Tom Thibodeau’s first season when New York relied on an aging Derrick Rose and injury-prone Nerlens Noel.

No need to worry about poor fits like Kemba Walker or Evan Fournier either. Rose already added a much-needed shooter in Brunson and Hart’s former Villanova teammate Donte DiVincenzo.

In the meantime, Josh Hart can look forward to doing exactly what he did for the Knicks last season. He’ll shoot threes, crash the boards like a star seven-footer, and be an absolute pest on defense. As to minutes, he’ll probably rotate between starting and coming off the bench with fellow wing Quentin Grimes.

Josh Hart might not make the Knicks a full-blown championship contender but at a minimum, he’ll have the team punching above its weight again.

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.