Knicks Notes: Hart, Brunson, Hartenstein, Randle

Josh Hart is hoping he’s not just a rental with the Knicks, as he told Marc J. Spears of Andscape.

Hart, who plans to decline his $12.96MM option for next season, said he wants to sign a long-term deal and remain in New York. Family reasons are a major reason why he feels that way, since he and his wife Shannon are more comfortable on the East Coast than they were in the Pacific Northwest when he played for Portland.

“I want bigger things for my wife and myself,” said Hart, who grew up in Maryland. “Just find a home somewhere where we are valued and really like living there. And I think that can be New York. I would love for it to be New York and hopefully the organization feels the same way. Coming up, this contract is hopefully my biggest one, one where I’m making sure my family’s fully taken care of. So, I’ve also got to take that into account, too.”

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Speaking of Hart, he’s thrilled to be reunited with his former college teammate Jalen Brunson. He’s greatly impressed by how Brunson has made himself into an All-Star caliber player, he told Ethan Sears of the New York Post. “It’s really dope for me to see, obviously, knowing him since 2013, watching his progression, watching him grow just as a friend,” Hart said. “It’s amazing cause I’ve seen the work behind the scenes. And he knows this, and I have the most respect for him as almost any NBA guy or basketball player in general because he continues to grind, continues to work.”
  • Isaiah Hartenstein signed a two-year contract to join the club as a free agent and he’s getting steady minutes. His impact goes beyond the numbers on the stat sheet, Sears notes. “Whether he scores 10 points, 15 points, he rebounds, he defends, gets his hands on plays and deflections and stuff like that,” Julius Randle said. “Sets screens, really good screens. He just does a lot of little things for us that help us win.” Hartenstein is averaging 4.8 points and 6.7 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per night.
  • Coach Tom Thibodeau lamented that the team couldn’t take advantage of Randle’s career night on Monday, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes. He poured in 57 points, the most by a Knicks player since Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points in January 2014, but the Knicks’ defense went AWOL in a 140-134 loss to Minnesota. “It’s a shame to waste a performance like that,” Thibodeau said. “You couldn’t ask for anything more.”
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