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Thunder Reportedly Have ‘Real Interest’ In Knicks Free Agent

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


The New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder are two teams that are seemingly in similar situations and are heading in the same direction.

They both exceeded expectations this year by finishing with the second and first seeds, respectively, in their conferences, and they both made it to the second round of the playoffs, where they put up a sincere fight before being eliminated.

One underrated key to the Knicks’ success is center Isaiah Hartenstein, who has emerged as a beast on the boards and a defensive presence.

He is about to become a free agent, and per Stefan Bondy (via NBACentral), the Thunder have “real interest” in him.

OKC has ‘real’ interest in Isaiah Hartenstein, per @SbondyNBA

“The Thunder is viewed by NBA sources as the top threat to pry Hartenstein away from the Knicks in free agency…One league source speculated the Thunder would offer a short-term deal (such as two years) with a high…

— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) June 11, 2024

Hartenstein has been in the NBA for six seasons, but this year was likely his best, as he averaged a career-high 8.3 rebounds a game during the regular season.

In the playoffs, he kept up his prowess defensively and on the boards while finding a way to contribute offensively by flashing in the lane whenever Jalen Brunson penetrated and needed an outlet.

There are rumors New York could trade Mitchell Robinson, their only other true center, so it remains to be seen how aggressively they try to retain Hartenstein.

If Hartenstein does head to Oklahoma City, he will give them some real size and toughness.

While Chet Holmgren has real star potential, he is 7-foot-1 and just 208 pounds, and other than him, the team lacks size on its front line.

Hartenstein could allow the Thunder to remain big when Holmgren is resting while improving their rebounding, which is currently one of their biggest weaknesses.

The post Thunder Reportedly Have ‘Real Interest’ In Knicks Free Agent appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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