Knicks’ deal for Josh Hart looks like a major win in retrospect

nba: new york knicks at cleveland cavaliers, josh hart
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks management has been stellar over the last three years in executing roster moves that have revived a winning culture in the franchise. Trading Cam Reddish for Josh Hart is one deal that has translated particularly well as one media member sees it.

Knicks Made a Wise Play in Moving off of Cam Reddish

Fan Nation’s Jonah Morgan went in length about the impact that dealing the underutilized Reddish for Hart at last year’s deadline has had and how it’s aged like wine:

“While Knicks fans should not be praying for the downfall of Reddish (who, to his credit, appears to be establishing a defensive niche in Los Angeles), it is hard not to feel grateful for how well one of president Leon Rose’s most notable recent moves has panned out, making a trade that secured one of the building blocks of the Knicks’ present and future.”

Reddish and Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau were at odds for most of his time in New York. The former No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft joined the Knicks after establishing himself as a double-figure scorer with the Atlanta Hawks.

In 118 games as a Hawk, Reddish started 62 times and averaged 10.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per night. In contrast, he only started in eight of 35 games as a Knick and was a DNP in the last 17 games of the 2021-22 campaign.

The positives of being swapped for Hart were short-lived, as Reddish’s steady play in 20 games with the Portland Trail Blazers has cratered with the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s only seeing 17 minutes of court time and shooting an alarming 31.6 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three. Hopefully, Reddish can maximize the incredible talent he showed coming out of Duke University, but the improvement Josh Hart has given the Knicks has been more than worth it.

Josh Hart a Catalyst on Both Ends For the Knicks

From his intensity on the glass to his skill in pushing the ball in transition, Hart has given the Knicks an element off of their bench that they did not have prior to his arrival in town.

Hart saw his field goal clip rise by nearly nine percent in the 25 games he played after last year’s deadline trade. He also connected on an otherworldly 51.9 percent of his 2.1 attempts from outside.

Off to a slower start this season in conjunction with the bulk of his teammates, Hart is still finding ways to penetrate into opposing defenses and give the Knicks pace and space. Additionally, he’s been used at three positions by coach Thibodeau, allowing the Knicks to go small and play fast or control the boards when playing up against bigger lineups.

The Knicks’ second-highest scoring lineup and two of their three most efficient lineups have featured Hart on the floor.

Hart signing a four-year, $81 million deal ahead of the season nestles the 28-year-old on the Knicks’ roster until 2027-28. The Knicks know what they’ll get from Hart on a nightly basis. Double figures in scoring, elite rebounding, speed, and a definitive cog in their championship-level defense.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: