Isaiah Hartenstein

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.”

Pacific Notes: Curry, Hartenstein, Brown, Russell

Warriors star Stephen Curry turned 35 years old on Tuesday, but he’s not even close to thinking about retirement, as he told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears. He’s hoping to play into his 40s, if all goes well.

“How I feel right now is not how I thought I’d feel at 35. That number sounds crazy, but in my head, I feel like I got a lot left,” he said. “The work I put into this I still enjoy. Who knows how [the future] looks?

“I talked to Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and other guys who have been on the other side of the halfway point. I know quarterbacking is different, but you can check yourself [mentally] into not fast-forwarding too far. They really did a good job of disciplining themselves for what is happening in real time. They’re 40 feeling like they can still play. I’m trying to stay in that mode. Thirty-five is a big milestone, but the next one is 40. The way I feel right now, who knows?””

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Knicks big man Isaiah Hartenstein suggested that if the Clippers had offered him the taxpayer mid-level exception last summer, he would have taken it, Tomer Azarly of reports. Hartenstein wound up signing a two-year contract worth up to $18.1MM with New York. “I mean, they gave the only thing they really could’ve offered me to John Wall. I was — I can’t take that big of a pay cut,” he said. “I think I was actually gonna come back, but I can’t take that big of a pay cut. So they picked John Wall over me and I got to live with that.”
  • Head coach Mike Brown has raised the bar for the Kings and they’ve responded, as Sam Amick of The Athletic details. Brown ripped his team for giving up 23 offensive rebounds to the Knicks on Thursday, even though Sacramento won. Holding his players accountable has paid off. “That’s why we’re in the position we’re in right now, because he wants us to be perfect,” guard Malik Monk said. “He knows we can’t be perfect, but he wants us to be perfect. So I think that’s why we’re succeeding right now. He’s pushing us, coming in and telling us that was B.S. You would’ve thought we lost if you heard what was going on, but he just wants the best for us, man. Like I said, he wants us to be perfect in a world that’s not perfect.”
  • D’Angelo Russell is hopeful of re-signing with the Lakers this offseason when he hits free agency, Jacob Rude of relays. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said at halftime of the Knicks-Lakers game on Sunday night that Russell wants to extend his second stint with the franchise. “D’Angelo Russell very much wanted a second chance in LA with the Lakers and you’ve seen the impact he made coming back against Toronto the other night, playing great in a win, and again (Sunday). He wants to be the point guard of the future for this organization.”

New York Notes: Brunson, Hartenstein, Nets’ Defense, O’Neale

Jalen Brunson seems likely to miss the Knicks’ game on Tuesday in Portland. He was spotting wearing a walking boot on Sunday night, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post.

“Just continue to do his treatments and we’ll see where he is. When he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go,” coach Tom Thibodeau said of the Knicks’ star guard. “It’s not Jalen by himself. It’s Jalen with the medical. So he’s got a say in it, but the medical has to clear him. So there’s a number of people involved in a decision. We’re not going to put him in harm’s way.”

Brunson said the boot isn’t as ominous as it might appear. He wore it during the Lakers game as a protective measure in case it got kicked or stepped on and isn’t wearing it away from the court, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets.

We have more from the New York teams:

  • Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein earned a $350K bonus by hitting his minutes requirement for the season, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. He needed to play at least 1,350 minutes to earn the bonus and surpassed that in the win over the Lakers. Hartenstein reached another $350K bonus threshold with the Knicks winning their 40th game on Sunday, New York Basketball tweets. He can collect one more $350K bonus in his contract if the Knicks make the playoffs.
  • The Nets have won five of their last six games, thanks to an improved defense, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “We had to challenge that group to shift the mentality of not thinking you have to score but to first of all let’s be a defensive-oriented team,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I think we’ve responded, started to form an identity with this group and hopefully they realize that.”
  • In another Lewis story, The Post’s beat writer notes that Royce O’Neale has exceeded the franchise’s expectations after acquiring him from Utah. He’s averaging career highs in points (9.0) and assists (3.7) per game while playing superior defense. “Whether I’m starting or coming off the bench, no matter how many minutes I’m playing, I’m going to play as hard as I can, do things that I got to do for us to win the game, and just be myself,” O’Neale said. His $9.5MM contract for next season is partially guaranteed for $2.5MM.

Mitchell Robinson Nearing Return For Knicks

Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson has been sidelined since January 18 after undergoing surgery to repair a right thumb fracture, but he’s getting close to a return. He’s officially listed as questionable for Friday’s game against the Wizards, the team announced (via Twitter).

As Peter Botte of The New York Post writes, Robinson was a full practice participant on Wednesday, including taking contact, which was one of the final hurdles in his recovery process.

It’s great to have him back. He’s an important part of the team. We want everyone healthy. We need everyone right now,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

It does [help] a lot,” Jalen Brunson said of Robinson’s pending return. “It’s good to see him healthy, first and foremost. He brings a lot to the table. He’s been great for us down inside the paint, on both sides of the floor. So when we can get a guy like that back, it definitely helps and I’m very excited to get him back.”

The injury did not affect a lower extremity, so the team’s starting center was able to keep his conditioning up while sidelined. Thibodeau was non-committal when asked if Robinson would be on a minutes restriction, according to Botte.

We’ll talk to the medical people. Whenever a player comes back you see where they are,” Thibodeau said. “If he can handle minutes, he’ll play. If he needs a break, he’ll get a break. So we’ll talk to him, talk to the medical people, see what everyone thinks. We like the depth that we have at that position.”

Through 38 games, Robinson is averaging 7.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 26.9 minutes per contest. The 24-year-old leads the team in net rating among rotation regulars at plus-8.2, Botte notes.

Jericho Sims, who had started the previous 14 games in place of Robinson, could be out of the rotation upon Robinson’s return, Botte adds. Isaiah Hartenstein is likely to remain the primary backup five.

Knicks Notes: Hartenstein, Grimes, Brunson, Randle

Isaiah Hartenstein has been more productive since shaking off the effects of an Achilles injury, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. The Knicks’ backup center is averaging 6.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks during his past 12 games and is helping the team survive while Mitchell Robinson is sidelined with a broken thumb.

“I feel like I can do the role that I need to do here a lot better with how good my Achilles is now feeling,” Hartenstein said. “… My main thing was helping the team win. Now it’s coming back where I’m doing the little stuff to help the team win.”

Hartenstein and Jericho Sims have been handling center duties since Robinson was injured on January 18. New York has gone 8-6 without its starting center, who is expected to return after the All-Star break, according to Braziller.

“Anytime someone goes out, and you hate to see anybody be injured, it’s an opportunity for someone else to step in and grow,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I think Jericho getting into that role has really been helpful for him and for us. I said this earlier, I love the depth we have at that position. … I don’t want to overlook the contributions Isaiah’s made. Isaiah has found a really good rhythm. He’s playing really well on both sides of the ball. So we’re getting really good production out of that position.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Quentin Grimes has remained in the starting lineup since the addition of Josh Hart, but his playing time has been reduced, Braziller notes in a separate story. Instead of being upset, Grimes is determined to learn from his new teammate. “He’s definitely a guy you watch out there, see how hard he plays,” Grimes said. “Just go out there and try to match it, because he’s definitely going to make winning plays on and off the ball.”
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News examines how Jalen Brunson‘s father, Knicks assistant Rick Brunson, taught him from a young age to shoot with his left hand. Jalen is naturally right-handed, so he’s comfortable attacking defenses from either direction. “There’s not a lot of lefties,” he said. “So I guess everything is the opposite for defenders. I just think it’s a little unorthodox.”
  • Julius Randle has been selected to replace Anfernee Simons in this weekend’s three-point contest, the NBA announced (via Twitter). The Trail Blazers guard suffered a sprained right ankle Tuesday night.

Moore’s Latest: Pelicans, Spurs, Warriors, Nuggets, VanVleet, Vanderbilt, More

The latest trade intel column from Matt Moore of Action Network is packed full of tidbits about the upcoming deadline, including some details on which players a handful of Western Conference teams have made available.

According to Moore, the Pelicans – in the market for another shooter – have made players like Jaxson Hayes, Devonte’ Graham, and Naji Marshall available, while the Spurs are discussing Isaiah Roby in addition to previously reported trade candidates like Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. Perhaps most interestingly, Moore says the Warriors consider Jonathan Kuminga “off limits,” but have been willing to discuss youngsters James Wiseman and Moses Moody.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets – who have put second-year guard Bones Hyland on the trade block – are seeking another wing and have their eye on players like Bulls guard Alex Caruso, Clippers guard Terance Mann, and Pacers swingman Chris Duarte, Moore writes.

Here’s more:

  • The Magic, who have previously been cited as a possible free agency suitor for Fred VanVleet, have “real” interest in the Raptors point guard, reports Moore. While VanVleet is thought to be available at the trade deadline due to his uncertain contract status beyond this season, one executive told Moore that trying to get a deal done with Toronto is “like blood from stone.”
  • There’s a growing belief that forward Jarred Vanderbilt will be on the move this week even if the Jazz don’t get the first-round pick they’re seeking for him, according to Moore, who suggest the Trail Blazers may be the frontrunner to land Vanderbilt.
  • Two league sources tell Moore that the Cavaliers have contacted the Hawks to inquire about Bogdan Bogdanovic. While there’s no indication those talks went anywhere, it’s worth noting Caris LeVert‘s $18.8MM salary is a near-perfect match for Bogdanovic’s $18MM cap hit.
  • Recent strong play from Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein has reduced the odds that he’ll be traded before Thursday’s deadline — the belief is that he’ll remain in New York, per Moore.

Knicks Notes: Reddish, Quickley, McBride, D. Rose, More

There have been multiple reports on the Knicks‘ asking price for Cam Reddish in recent weeks, with at least one story indicating the team wants two second-round picks while another suggested that just one would do the trick.

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, the Knicks have expressed to certain teams that they want a pair of second-rounders for Reddish, but sources from rival clubs believe New York would be amenable to accepting just one.

As Katz observes, the deal the Lakers and Wizards made for Rui Hachimura might actually hurt the Knicks’ market for Reddish, even though Hachimura is also a restricted free-agent-to-be and netted Washington three second-rounders.

Hachimura was a regular contributor in Washington, whereas Reddish hasn’t played for nearly two months. Additionally, the Lakers were viewed as a prime suitor for Reddish, but no longer seem like a probable landing spot for the fourth-year forward, reducing the Knicks’ leverage in trade discussions.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Elsewhere in his story on the Knicks’ trade deadline considerations, Katz confirms that the team has become increasingly resistant to the idea of trading Immanuel Quickley after having been open to moving him earlier in the season and cites league sources who say New York has “decisively” turned down inquiries on reserve guard Miles McBride. McBride isn’t currently a major part of the Knicks’ rotation, but the team likes him “for the long haul,” Katz explains.
  • If Derrick Rose remains on the roster through the trade deadline, buying him out and allowing him to sign with a contender is a possibility, according to Katz. But the Knicks have also discussed the idea of hanging onto the point guard into the offseason in case his $15.6MM team option for 2023/24 becomes a useful salary-matching asset in a trade for an impact player.
  • Reserve center Isaiah Hartenstein was happy to be able to contribute to the Knicks’ win over Cleveland on Tuesday with some key defensive plays in crunch time, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. “It’s big. It’s kind of what I came here for,” Hartenstein said. “I know for myself if I’m not playing as good as I’m supposed to be playing I feel like I’m kind of letting the fans down, the city down a little bit. But I’m just going to keep getting better because I know I can do it. So keep getting better and keep representing for New York.”
  • Head coach Tom Thibodeau likes what he’s seeing from a second unit that features Hartenstein, McBride, Quickley, and Obi Toppin playing alongside starter RJ Barrett, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “Huge. I mentioned it earlier that the bench was playing really well prior to RJ getting hurt, then Obi got hurt and we haven’t found our rhythm,” Thibodeau said. “Now I think we’re starting to find that rhythm again.”

Clippers Rumors: Mann, Lowry, VanVleet, Hartenstein, Covington, Kawhi

As the Clippers explore the trade market for potential backcourt or frontcourt upgrades, they continue to rebuff inquiries on fourth-year guard Terance Mann, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack story.

Entering the season, the decision on the Clippers’ starting point guard came down to Reggie Jackson vs. John Wall, but with Jackson’s role cut back and Wall injured, it’s Mann who has started the club’s last nine games at point guard.

One team source who spoke to Law Murray of The Athletic suggested that there’s a belief Mann could be the Clippers’ starting point guard beyond this season. However, it’s unclear how enthusiastic head coach Tyronn Lue is about using Mann in that role. As Murray explains, Lue views Mann as more of a small forward and barely used him in some first-half games. The Clippers’ coach also likes having a more traditional point guard in his rotation, Murray adds.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • In an article focused on the Clippers’ need to upgrade their roster, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer identifies Heat point guard Kyle Lowry, Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet, and Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein as some of the players L.A. has interest in. Lowry and VanVleet won a championship with Kawhi Leonard, while Hartenstein had the best season of his NBA career a year ago with the Clips.
  • According to Murray, there’s a sense that Lue would like to replace Robert Covington with a more reliable center, while the front office would like the team to find a way to make a “long lineup” (which includes Covington) work. Murray suggests the trade deadline may represent a “demarcation point” between Lue and the front office on Covington’s future in Los Angeles.
  • While this should come as no surprise, a team source confirms to Murray that the Clippers haven’t given any consideration to trading Leonard.
  • Steve Bulpett of explores whether or not the frequent absences of Leonard and Paul George from the Clippers’ lineup has created a sense of frustration within the organization due to the club’s inability to establish any chemistry or consistency.

Atlantic Notes: Sims, Hartenstein, Nets, Raptors, Niang

Knicks reserve big men Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein have seen their roles expand following starting center Mitchell Robinson‘s recent thumb surgery, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post.

Sims had been out of the Knicks’ rotation in the five games leading up to Robinson’s thumb injury last week, while Hartenstein was playing backup center minutes. After Robinson went down, Sims was elevated to starter, while Thibodeau kept Hartenstein in his reserve role.

“I feel good about both guys,” New York head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “What gives us the best chance to win? It may change based on matchups… Jericho and Isaiah have been in the rotation, and that was one of the things that stood out when we were acquiring those guys was the rim protection. We felt both were capable.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Though the Kevin Durant drama may have been taking the lion’s share of headlines as far as the Nets were concerned this summer, the team made some excellent under-the-radar roster moves that are now paying off in a big way, per James Herbert of CBS Sports. Herbert singles out Brooklyn’s re-signing of Nic Claxton, its free agent additions of Yuta Watanabe and T.J. Warren, and its trade for Royce O’Neale.
  • As the Raptors continue to slide in the Eastern Conference standings, team president Masai Ujiri should look to move on from some of its best assets and begin a full-on rebuild around second-year forward Scottie Barnes, opines Bruce Arthur of The Toronto Star. Arthur believes that Toronto players OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam could each net at least three first-round draft picks in trades, writing that at least one team previously offered three first-rounders for Anunoby.
  • Sixers reserve power forward Georges Niang is striving to play better defensively, and seems to have truly improved on that end this season, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “People try to knock me, and not give me credit because I don’t look like someone that can defend,” Niang said. “I believe if I’m out there on the court, I’m going to make it tough on anybody that I have to guard.. That’s kind of the narrative that I’m trying to spin the other way.”

Knicks Notes: Toppin, Reddish, Quickley, Hartenstein

Knicks forward Obi Toppin, who has averaged just 10.7 minutes per night in six games since returning from a leg injury, is a good candidate to play an increased role with Mitchell Robinson on the shelf due to a broken thumb, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post.

In order to earn those extra minutes though, Toppin recognizes that he has to play better, Botte writes in a separate New York Post story. The former lottery pick has made just 4-of-18 shots since his return and has gone scoreless in three of his last four games.

“I don’t know,” Toppin responded when asked why he thinks he’s struggling. “Just confidence? Shoot the ball when I have open shots, drive the ball when I have to drive the ball. Just play great basketball. It’s just more repetitions in the game. Just having an opportunity to shoot some shots in the game, get that touch again. And I feel like once I get that touch – I’m shooting well in practice, I’m shooting well here, it’s just in the game, having those game looks, finding that rhythm again.”

Of course, while Toppin could play alongside Julius Randle in smaller lineups, the Knicks will also need one or both of Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims to step up in Robinson’s absence. Fred Katz of The Athletic explores what to expect from the team’s two backup centers, noting that – while he’s not the rim protector Robinson is – Sims is a more versatile defender than Hartenstein, with the ability to get out to the perimeter to guard non-bigs.

Here’s more from out of New York:

  • A recent report from Michael Scotto indicated the Knicks would like to get two second-round picks back in exchange for Cam Reddish, but Ian Begley of hears from teams in touch with the Knicks that one second-rounder may be enough to get something done. New York’s ability to get draft compensation for Reddish could come down to what sort of player the team is willing to take back for salary-matching purposes.
  • Elsewhere on the trade front, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic cites an NBA executive who said earlier this week that he doesn’t believe Immanuel Quickley is “gettable” in a trade anymore, like he was earlier in the season.
  • As Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News writes, Isaiah Hartenstein still doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with his role as a center in Tom Thibodeau‘s system, but he did say the Achilles injury that was bothering him earlier in the season has improved. “I feel like I can jump a little bit, dunk the ball a little bit more,” Hartenstein said. “So I think when that keeps getting better and better defensively I’ll feel more confident.”