Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein is hoping to sign extension this offseason

New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) dunks in the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In what is a contract year for New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein, it has also been a career year for him, as he has flourished in his role as a starter over the past several months.

This season, Hartenstein is averaging 8.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game, and filled in nicely during Mitchell Robinson’s absence from an ankle injury. His efforts have him lined up to be one of the more sought-after players on the open market this summer.

As his impending free agency approaches by the day, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto asked him about his mindset heading into a big offseason.

Isaiah Hartenstein wants to re-sign with the Knicks

“I’m focused on what I’m doing right now. I know I’ve put myself in a great position to get a little upgrade,” said Hartenstein. “Right now, I’m focused on the Knicks. I love it here, and hopefully, we’ll figure something out, but at the end of the day, business is business.”

When asked if he would re-sign with New York if other teams matched a Knicks offer, he said he would return to the Big Apple.

As previously mentioned, Hartenstein is having the most impactful season in his seven-year career. His ability to stretch the floor with his passing and use of floaters inside the paint has made him a perfect fit at the center position for the Knicks.

Hartenstein credits teammates for breakout season

He has also developed very strong on-court chemistry with Jalen Brunson, which has been crucial to the Knicks offense as they will be without their All-Star, Julius Randle, for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Hartenstein said that building that chemistry has been a driving factor in his breakout season.

“I think I’m gaining more trust from my teammates. I feel like now it’s kind of going back to how I was playing with the Clippers. We have a lot of unselfish guys,” said Hartenstein via HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. “Jalen Brunson’s playmaking this year has not been talked about enough. How he’s been playmaking this year has made my life easier. I think that’s been big for us, especially with how much they trap him and how well he’s been making reads.”

Knicks are going to need him to perform throughout the playoffs

Looking ahead toward the postseason, the Knicks are going to need him to continue his great stretch of play, as Robinson is still trying to find his rhythm again after missing three months with his injury, and OG Anunoby just now returning after missing 26 of 29 games.

Nevertheless, with a great season under his belt, the Knicks will be one of many teams that will look to sign him this offseason, but it’s encouraging to see that New York appears to still be at the top of his wishlist.

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