Isaiah Hartenstein is signing a three-year, $87 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder

Isaiah Hartenstein Knicks pic
Isaiah Hartenstein Knicks pic

This offseason, the New York Knicks made moves to upgrade their roster. They traded with the Brooklyn Nets for talented two-way guard/forward Mikal Bridges. Additionally, the team gave O.G. Anunoby a five-year, $213 million deal to stay in New York. Another player the team wanted to retain this offseason was big man Isaiah Hartenstein. 

However, one team had a clear interest in adding the 26-year-old. It had been reported since the end of May that Hartenstein could leave in free agency to the Thunder. Today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Isaiah Hartenstein is signing a three-year, $87 million deal with Oklahoma City. A quality addition by general manager Sam Presti.

Isaiah Hartenstein has the potential to help elevate the Thunder to another level in 2024-25

For the last two seasons, Isaiah Hartensten played for the New York Knicks. In 2022-23, the former second-round pick played in all 82 games for the Knicks. He made eight starts. Mitchell Robinson started at center for the Knicks and Hartenstein came off the bench. That changed in 2023-24 when Robinson missed significant time due to injury. Hartenstein played in 75 games for the Knicks last season and made a career-high 49 starts.

When Robinson was healthy and able to return, head coach Tom Thibodeau kept Hartenstein as their starting center. His (25.3) minutes, (8.3) rebounds, and (1.2) steals per game were all career highs. His impressive season with the Knicks had other teams around the league interested in acquiring Hartenstein. The Oklahoma City Thunder were linked to Hartenstein and they were able to sign the free agent big man. Next season, he’ll be the starting center for the Thunder.

In 2023-24, the OKC Thunder used rookie Chet Holmgren as their starting center. A role he was fully capable of playing. The Thunder used a smaller starting lineup last season. With Jalen Williams at six-foot-seven as their power forward. Now that the team has signed Isaiah Hartenstein, Chet Holmgren can switch to PF. That has the potential to unlock OKC as a team. Last season, Holmgren had the responsibilities of a center. He can play PF next season and the team can utilize his offensive skillset even more. Isaiah Hartenstein can play the role he did in New York as a traditional big man. An excellent offseason addition by general manager Sam Presti.

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