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Isaiah Hartenstein Signs 3-Year, $87 Million Contract With Oklahoma City Thunder


Isaiah Hartenstein has agreed to a three-year, $87 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This move marks the early acquisition of what many NBA analysts considered the top available center in the 2024 free agency period.

The 26-year-old, standing at 7 feet tall, is coming off a standout 2023-24 season where he averaged 7.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game in 25.3 minutes for the Knicks.

He initially served as New York’s backup center but moved into the starting lineup after Mitchell Robinson’s injury in December. Hartenstein thrived in this role, shooting 66.3% from the field in 49 starts, during which the Knicks posted a 32-17 record. He excelled in setting screens for point guard Jalen Brunson and provided strong rim protection, contributing to the team’s top-10 offense and defense.

Hartenstein became a crucial asset under head coach Tom Thibodeau due to his versatility on both ends of the court. Known for his offensive rebounding prowess — he secured 14.4% of his team’s missed shots, the second-highest rate in the NBA — he also showcased his playmaking ability with five assists per 100 possessions, ranking 12th among centers with over 1,000 minutes. He improved his scoring efficiency, shooting a career-best 54% on mid-range shots.

Defensively, Hartenstein stood out as one of the league’s elite, recording over 80 blocks and steals each, a feat achieved by only five players last season. He held opponents to just 52.5% shooting at the rim, an impressive mark that underscored his defensive impact comparable to top defenders like Rudy Gobert and Kristaps Porziņģis.

During the playoffs, Hartenstein continued to shine, averaging nearly 30 minutes per game for the Knicks as they navigated through the postseason. Despite eventual team setbacks, his performance highlighted his growth and adaptability since being drafted by Houston in 2017.

“Anyone out there, you just have to be consistent. And then you have to be humble,” Hartenstein told Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer. “I was humble enough to see why I wasn’t playing right, see what wasn’t going right. In those summers, I really went in and just worked on my game. When the next opportunity came, I really seized it.”

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