Knicks Could Replace Isaiah Hartenstein With This Former Champion

Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, NBA Rumors
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Happy days are seemingly here again for the New York Knicks and their fans after they were forced to sift through the wilderness for at least 20 NBA seasons. After struggling to stay over .500 in October, November, and December, the Knicks traded for 3-and-D wing OG Anunoby, and that deal seemed to turn everything around.

They went 14-2 in the month of January, and even after All-Star power forward Julius Randle was lost for the season because of a shoulder injury, they finished with the second seed in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs, they danced like it was 1994 until more key injuries played a role in them getting blown out at Madison Square Garden in Game 7 of the second round by the Indiana Pacers.

The Knicks are facing some key personnel decisions this summer in their quest to truly become a championship contender. Starting center Isaiah Hartenstein will be a free agent this summer, as will Anunoby, and it won’t be easy for them to re-sign both.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors Updates

Fred Katz of The Athletic suggested that if Hartenstein walks, the Knicks should replace him with Kevon Looney of the Golden State Warriors.

“He fits the Knicks’ vibe check. Looney is a rebounder first, one of the world’s most ferocious on the glass. He finished 10th in the NBA in offensive rebound rate this past season. He’s a physical presence down low and would arrive with championship experience, a member of three of the Warriors’ titles,” Katz wrote.

The Knicks became a power this season by holding opponents down defensively, fast-breaking at every opportunity within reason and pounding the boards. They’re the NBA’s best offensive rebounding team, and Looney could help them remain just that.

He played a key role as a starter on Golden State’s last championship team, and overall, he has won three world titles with Golden State. But he saw his playing time diminish this season and lost his starting job, and there is speculation that the Warriors, who have a gigantic payroll, may release Looney.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks, Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors Updates

He has one more year remaining on his contract at $8 million. If Hartenstein leaves, perhaps Looney would entertain coming to the Big Apple if the price is right and especially if he could become the Knicks’ starting 5.

His championship experience would be invaluable for a Knicks franchise that hasn’t gotten to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2000. He’s also the type of lunch-pail type player who sticks to his role and doesn’t complain about not getting the spotlight. That would make him perfect for a team that represents a city that works hard and believes in sticking together and never giving up in the face of adversity.

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