Knicks Player Drawing ‘Real’ Free Agency Interest From Thunder

Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, NBA Rumors
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Hartenstein is on track to be one of the most sought-after NBA free agents on the market this offseason, following a career year with the New York Knicks.

The 26-year-old center averaged 7.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while often filling in for Mitchell Robinson after a season-ending injury, solidifying himself as a valuable contributor to the Knicks during their playoff run. His breakout performance has made him a hot commodity ahead of his looming free agency.

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Post, the Oklahoma City Thunder have emerged as a top threat to pry Hartenstein away from the Knicks.

The Thunder’s significant cap space and draft assets make them a formidable contender to land Hartenstein, who is expected to receive significant offers from multiple teams.

“After finishing atop the Western Conference with 57 wins in the regular season, Oklahoma City can make a stronger bid for Hartenstein than the Knicks, who are capped out but can offer a starting salary of roughly $17 million using their Early Bird Rights,” Bondy wrote.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Bondy reported the Thunder’s interest in Hartenstein as “real” and said they would be willing to offer a hefty short-term contract to entice him to sign. With their robust cap space and draft assets, the Thunder are confident in adding talent this summer.

Despite their cap constraints, the Knicks are expected to offer Hartenstein a significant contract to keep him in New York.

Hartenstein’s services will be in high demand in the market. The Thunder and Knicks are currently among the top contenders in the league, but other teams could and are expected to make a push to sign him.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Hartenstein’s decision will depend on his priorities. Will he choose the Thunder’s promise of a more prominent role setting screens for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and locking down on defense next to Chet Holmgren along with a significant contract, or will he stay with the Knicks to remain a vital piece of their core?

One thing is clear: Hartenstein is about to get paid. With his breakout season and strong playoff performance, he’s proven himself as a valuable asset in the NBA.

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