The New York Knicks are keeping their newfound glue guy a little while longer as they’ve agreed to a four-year, $81 million contract extension with swingman Josh Hart on Wednesday.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Hart will receive a total of $94 million that includes the final year of his current contract, which was a $13 million player option he exercised earlier this summer. The totality of his contract will keep him in New York through the 2027-28 season.
The 28-year-old Villanova product who won a national title with Knicks teammate Jalen Brunson immediately ingratiated himself to the franchise and fan base in the Big Apple after he was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 9 as a part of a massive four-team deal that also included the Philadephia 76ers and Charlotte Hornets.
In 25 regular-season games with the Knicks, he averaged 10.2 points, seven rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 30 minutes per game, providing a brand of ferocity and grit that harkened back to to the late 1990s at Madison Square Garden. His services provided the depth that bolstered the Knicks’ playoff resume, as they got in as the No. 5 seed.
They defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round in five games where Hart averaged 35 minutes a night, posting 11.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
“In my mind, there’s no such thing as fatigue, no such thing as being tired, no such thing as being hurt,” Hart said of his style of play after defeating Cleveland. “If I’m out there, that’s the time where I gotta raise my attention to detail, raise my intensity, raise my energy even more. And that’s something that I’ve always been wired to do. So for me, it’s once that time hits, it’s totally different. In my eyes, it’s 0-0 and you’ve got to go win it.”
Looking ahead at the 2023-24 season, Hart is projected to be the Knicks’ sixth man where he’ll have opportunities backing up RJ Barrett at the 3. New York has bolstered its depth at the 2, likely factoring out Hart, as it brought in Donte DiVincenzo in free agency to back up Quentin Grimes.