Knicks pick up club option for developmental center

Jericho Sims, New York Knicks

While the New York Knicks are making significant strides to build a championship-contending team for next season, their smaller roster decisions are also shaping up to have a substantial impact. On Saturday, the Knicks opted to pick up the contract of Jericho Sims for the 2024-25 season, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Post reported.

Jericho Sims’ Role and Future with the Knicks

Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) controls the ball while New York Knicks center Jericho Sims (45) defends during the first half at TD Garden

Sims, who has a $2.1 million cap hit next season, played a key role as a primary backup this past season. Over 45 appearances, he averaged two points and 3.3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game. At 26 years old next season, Sims remains a developmental project. While he could be seen as a valuable rotational piece for other teams, the Knicks might also consider including him in a trade package, potentially in the deal that brought Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets, to help offload salary.

Financial Strategy and Contract Extensions

Currently, the Knicks have yet to extend Isaiah Hartenstein, as they navigate complex financial challenges. The front office is striving to stay below the $178 million apron and aims to manage their payroll around the second apron at $189.5 million. Achieving this would provide them with more salary flexibility, crucial for potentially extending Hartenstein, who is expected to command a salary upwards of $16.4 million based on his Early Bird Rights.

Nov 12, 2023; New York, New York, USA;  Charlotte Hornets center Nick Richards (4) and New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) fight for a rebound in the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Hartenstein’s Uncertain Future

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his contract situation, Hartenstein’s preference to stay with the Knicks is clear, especially following the team’s acquisitions of Bridges and the extension of OG Anunoby.

The challenge for the Knicks will be to offer a deal competitive with what Hartenstein might find in the free-agent market, ensuring they can retain his services without compromising their salary cap strategy.

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