New York Notes: Hartenstein, McBride, Nets, Claxton

Isaiah Hartenstein continues to impress as the Knicks‘ starting center in place of the injured Mitchell Robinson, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. Hartenstein had a monster double-double in Wednesday’s victory over Chicago, recording 10 points, a career-high 20 rebounds, and a career-high-tying five blocks.

I’m impressed with the way he’s protecting the rim, to be honest,” Julius Randle said after Wednesday’s win. “We’re used to Mitch doing that, covering up for our mistakes when we get beat off the dribble. But he’s a monster doing that. And to go up against (Bulls center Andre) Drummond and get 20 rebounds, it’s no slight. He’s been amazing.”

An unrestricted free agent in the offseason, Katz says Hartenstein is “due for an inevitable raise” on his $9.2MM expiring contract, and it will be difficult for New York to re-sign him, given the team’s commitments to Robinson and several other players. The Knicks will hold his Early Bird rights.

Right now, I’m a New York Knick,” Hartenstein said of 2024 free agency. “That’s the biggest thing. I feel like, yeah, sometimes you have that in the back of your mind. That’s normal. At the end of the day, I wanna be in New York, but it’s a business.”

Here’s more on the two New York-based teams:

  • Miles McBride had a shaky first two games as the Knicks‘ new primary backup point guard, but they still view him as a long-term replacement for Immanuel Quickley, sources tell ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. McBride inked a three-year, $13MM extension with New York shortly after the team traded Quickley to Toronto. For what it’s worth, McBride has 12 points in six minutes thus far during Friday’s contest vs. Philadelphia, making all four of his three-pointers.
  • Lucas Kaplan of takes an in-depth look at Nic Claxton‘s value and future, writing that Claxton could be worth $20-25MM annually on the open market as a free agent this summer and the Nets would be wise to re-sign him to a long-term contract if that range is indeed accurate. Claxton won’t become extension-eligible prior to free agency.
  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post revisits the Nets‘ decision to promote Jacque Vaughn to head coach last season instead of hiring Ime Udoka, who eventually landed with Houston in the offseason after being suspended by Boston for all of 2022/23 for sexual misconduct.
View Comments (20)