Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein Set Up For Massive Raise This Offseason

Isaiah Hartenstein, Knicks, NBA Free Agency
Mar 27, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) dunks against the Toronto Raptors in the first half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein has been one of the pleasant surprises in the NBA this season. He saw his role increase exponentially when starting center Mitchell Robinson injured his ankle in early December, which sent the team into a bit of a tailspin.

Robinson was off to an excellent start, as he was on a historic pace for offensive rebounds. He was providing New York with elite defense as well, as Hartenstein had some massive shoes to fill as the starting center.

While things were shaky at first, it was a role that he had grown into and flourished himself. Any worries that the team’s performance would permanently dip with Hartenstein in the mix instead of Robinson were put to rest rather quickly.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Isaiah Hartenstein, 2024 NBA Free Agency, New York Knicks Updates

All Hartenstein has done is turn into one of the most productive two-way centers in the NBA in Robinson’s absence. He hit the glass with the same ferocity as Robinson, as the team’s rebounding numbers didn’t dip.

Offensively, the Knicks became a more dangerous team with Hartenstein in the mix. He can be used as a hub, taking some of the playmaking pressure off of Jalen Brunson as someone who can create from the high post. If you ignore him, which many teams do to Robinson, he will hurt you with elite floater numbers.

Defensively, the Knicks’ performance didn’t slip with Hartenstein either. He has consistently been near the top in several metrics, providing the same rim protection the team was receiving from Robinson.

Just how good has Hartenstein been this season? As shared by NBA University on X, Hartenstein is ascending at a rapid level. His DARKO level is at a higher level than Nikola Vucevic has ever reached and is now outperforming Jarrett Allen.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Isaiah Hartenstein, 2024 NBA Free Agency, New York Knicks Updates

Hartenstein is cementing his status as one of the best centers in the NBA. While it is awesome to see him playing at a high level for the Knicks right now, it is going to cost them during the NBA offseason.

That is because Hartenstein is set to become a free agent this summer. He has outperformed his current contract and will likely be compensated as a starter this time around given how well he has played.

Can the Knicks find a way to not only pay Hartenstein what he deserves but figure out minutes distribution for him and Robinson when both players are healthy? It will be one of the more interesting storylines to follow in the NBA in free agency as Hartenstein has set himself up for a massive raise.

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