Knicks’ energizing wing expected to sign contract this week

Josh Hart, New York Knicks
Mar 14, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) drives to the basket during the first half against Portland Trail Blazers guard Matisse Thybulle (4) at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have made some strategic moves in this off-season to boost their capacity to sign influential players. The recruitment of Donte DiVincenzo on a four-year, $47 million deal became possible when Josh Hart accepted his $13 million player option and consented to a new deal starting after the 2023–24 season.

Anticipated Contract Renewal for Josh Hart

According to Brian Windhorst on his Hoop Collective podcast, Hart is anticipated to sign a new contract this week.

Windhorst stated, “Hart has not signed his extension yet. But Hart has committed to Team USA. A whole bunch of guys on Team USA have signed extensions. Part of the reason they’re on the team is because they’re in good positions with their contract. [Tyrese] Haliburton, [Anthony] Edwards, Austin Reaves, a bunch of other guys are in the middle of long-term contracts. Jalen Brunson. My guess is that Josh Hart will have an extension in place [when he reports for Team USA’s FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 training in Las Vegas on Thursday]. … I would be very surprised if he doesn’t have an extension by this week.”

Hart agreed to take a lower salary for the upcoming season, with the understanding that he would receive his extension. The expected deal is approximately four years, $75 million (according to Stefan Bondy), paying him an estimated $18.75 million per season—a decent payout for a player who brings significant energy to the Knicks’ roster.

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Hart’s Significant Role in the Knicks

Hart’s performance in the last season was impressive, averaging 9.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and a field shot rate of .529. However, his performance with the Knicks—following his mid-season trade from the Portland Trailblazers—was exceptional. In 25 games averaging 30 minutes, Hart generated 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals, with a field shot rate of .586 and a downtown shot rate of .519, achieving a .672 effective field goal rate.

Hart has established a significant off-the-bench role, providing impressive defense and good scoring ability. The Knicks, however, recognized the need to add more three-point shooters with a good success rate.

The Addition of Donte DiVincenzo

DiVincenzo fits the requirement perfectly and already shares a good rapport with both Hart and Jalin Brunson from their time at Villanova. DiVincenzo averaged 9.4 points per game and 3.5 assists last season with a .397 three-point shot rate.

With a team that boasts an extraordinary amount of chemistry, and if RJ Barrett can significantly improve his game, the Knicks might not need to trade for a third star after all.