Rockets Trade For Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein In New Proposal

Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

It was a busy NBA offseason for the Houston Rockets. This team has been tanking for several years. The Rockets are done tanking. This team is looking to take a step forward in 2022-23. That’s going to start with establishing a defensive identity. 

Look at the players that this team acquired this summer. Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, Reggie Bullock, and Jeff Green are all known as defensive presences. New Head Coach Ime Udoka is known for his defensive mind as well.

The Rockets are looking to get stops in 2023-24. Do they have all of the pieces they need? Time will tell. Houston may be in the market for a defensive big man. Alperen Sengun is a prodigious offensive talent, but he’s not the strongest rim protector.

Once Jock Landale recovers from his ankle injury, he may prove to be a suitable backup for the young Turkish big man.

Could they acquire Isaiah Hartenstein from the New York Knicks if he doesn’t? 

NBA Trade Proposal — Houston Rockets Land Isaiah Hartenstein

Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks
NBA Analysis Network

New York Knicks Receive: F Jae’Sean Tate, 2024 Second-Round Pick (BKN via HOU), 2025 Second-Round Pick (HOU) 

Houston Rockets Receive: C Isaiah Hartenstein 

With that said, you can try to establish any type of identity that you want. Sometimes, your roster will have other plans. Look at the New York Knicks. They’re coached by Tom Thibodeau. Arguably, no head coach in the NBA is as known for his defense as the man they call Thibs. 

Yet, in 2022-23, the Knicks were mediocre on that end of the floor. Yet, they had a successful season anyway. The Knicks had one of the best offenses in the NBA. What happened here? 

Well, look at their roster. Sure, the Knicks are anchored by Mitchell Robinson. In all likelihood, that’s the only reason that their defense wasn’t atrocious.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets Updates

Otherwise, the Knicks are led by offensive-minded players like Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson. This team may have had a different identity than their head coach had expected.

What does this deal do for their identity? 

Why The New York Knicks Do This Deal 

NBA New York Knicks Logo
NBA Analysis Network

Well, Tate is certainly defensive-minded. In all likelihood, he’ll endear himself to Tom Thibodeau quickly if he lands in New York. Tate is a multi-positional defender who works hard and hustles for loose balls every night. 

Yet, he’s got some offensive value as well. Tate is limited as a floor spacer – if he wasn’t, the Rockets would likely prefer to keep him. Still, he’s a good playmaker who can sit up teammates and get his own looks at the rim.

All told, Tate should find a place in this Knicks’ rotation. On the other hand, Hartenstein could lose his. He’s a good player, but Robinson is distinctly more impactful.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets Updates

The Knicks may not want to commit so much salary space to a pair of big men for much longer. If they want to diversify their roster, Tate would be a good addition.

Should the Rockets want to add Hartenstein? 

Why The Houston Rockets Do This Deal 

Houston Rockets Logo
NBA Analysis Network

You may be asking yourself a question. If the Knicks don’t want both Robinson and Hartenstein, why would the Rockets pair him with Sengun? Well, it’s a matter of contrasting skill sets. The Rockets need a big man with some defensive value – the Knicks don’t need two. Hartenstein would be the best rim protector on this team from day one. 

Moreover, Udoka may opt to play the pair together at times. When he was coaching the Boston Celtics, Udoka was not afraid of plus-sized lineups. If Sengun can develop his three-ball, it’s possible that those arrangements will work for stretches. 

Either way, Hartenstein is a better fit for this roster than Tate. Between Brooks, Bullock, Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason and Cam Whitmore, the Rockets have a surplus of wings. Given his age and impact, Tate feels like the odd man out.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets Updates

With that in mind, flipping him for a big man who can protect the rim would be a sensible decision. It should help the Rockets continue to establish their defensive identity. 

Leonard and George Lift Clippers in Clutch to 100-97 Victory Over Magic

During Friday’s NBA action, the Los Angeles Clippers clinched a narrow victory over the Orlando Magic, 100-97, led by crucial late-game jump shots from Kawhi

Pistons End 8-Game Slide Using 96-87 Win vs. Wizards

The Detroit Pistons faced off against the Washington Wizards in a thrilling contest during Friday’s NBA action. The Pistons managed to halt an eight-game slide

Kings’ Playoff Aspirations Hit as Malik Monk Faces Injury

In an unforeseen twist to their playoff chase, the Sacramento Kings have hit a major roadblock. Malik Monk, a contender for the NBA’s Sixth Man