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Isaiah Hartenstein rumors: Knicks lose center to Thunder in $87 million deal

Isaiah Hartenstein Knicks
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Hartenstein proved himself invaluable to the Knicks last season and now he has cashed in on it. The problem, for New York at least, is that it is not in the Big Apple. 

The 26-year-old center has signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder on a three-year, $87 million deal, per multiple reports on Monday — his loss providing a considerable blow to the Knicks’ frontcourt.

With Mitchell Robinson dealing with an ankle injury that required surgery in December and was aggravated again in May and ended his playoffs early, Hartenstein stepped up to become a key cog in New York’s machine as it made its way to the Eastern Conference semifinal.

In 75 games with a career-high 49 starts, he averaged 7.8 points with a career-high 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 64.4% from the field. 

But after acquiring Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets and re-signing OG Anunoby to a five-year, $212.5 million, the Knicks did not have the financial firepower to outbid the Thunder. New York’s max offer would have only been at four years, $72.5 million.

Knicks
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Oklahoma City finished the 2023-24 season with the best record in the Western Conference but lost in the conference semifinals with one of the glaring reasons being that they were one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA. Hartenstein will help rectify that issue regardless of his role.

For more on Isaiah Hartenstein and the Knicks, visit AMNY.com