August 9, 2022

3arabstar

healthy part of faith

Knicks add Isaiah Hartenstein in 2022 NBA free agency

While all the focus for the Knicks leading up to the free-agency period circulated around Jalen Brunson, they were able to multitask. 

Just as free agency began, Stadium’s Shams Charania reported the Knicks had agreed to terms with stretch center Isaiah Hartenstein on a fully guaranteed two-year, $16 million contract. He signed a one-year minimum contract with the Clippers last year and made the most of it, turning his best season in the NBA into a solid deal with the Knicks. 

The 24-year-old, 7-footer averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists last year while shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point range in 17.9 minutes per game. He has bounced around, playing for the Rockets, Nuggets, Cavaliers and Clippers, and was expected to receive interest from a lot of teams, most notably the Magic. 

Isaiah Hartenstein’s arrival leaves Mitchell Robinson’s Knicks future up in the air.
USA TODAY Sports

But the Knicks — who had created over $30 million in cap space by trading out of the first round and dealing veterans Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel — jumped in to land the versatile big man. It’s uncertain where this leaves Mitchell Robinson, who was reportedly expected to return. 

Hartenstein presents a different dimension for the Knicks on offense, a center capable of spacing the floor. He attempted less than one 3-pointers per game last year but is capable of hitting from beyond the arc. 


Get the latest updates on all NBA free agency signings and rumors with the New York Post’s live coverage.


He’s also a more-than-capable defender, blocking 3.1 shots per 100 possessions, which ranked as the ninth-highest figure in the league. Opponents made just 47.5 percent of their attempts against him at the rim, which was the lowest in the NBA, according to MavsMoneyBall.com. 

An NBA scout familiar with Hartenstein views him as a “high-level” backup. 

“Really high IQ player. Not an elite athlete but understands how to overcome his limitations,” the scout said. “One of the best passing centers in the NBA. Can run your offense through him at times. Hasn’t proven to be a consistent 3-point shooter.” 

Hartenstein grew up in Oregon and moved to Germany at the age of 10, where his father Florian was playing. He played professionally in Lithuania before being drafted by the Rockets in the second round in 2017.