New York Knicks guard Josh Hart was a no-show during Team USA’s dominant win over Puerto Rico on Monday—and for good reason. The former Villanova swingman is staying in the Big Apple thanks to a four-year, $81 million extension.
New York Knicks G Josh Hart is finalizing a four-year, $81 million contract extension, Aaron Mintz, Dave Spahn and Steven Heumann of @CAA_Basketball tell ESPN. Deal delivers Hart a total of $94M through 2027-2028 season. pic.twitter.com/PNlhKWka4g
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 9, 2023
Hart has been a Swiss-Army knife through the first six years of his career. After being drafted 30th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers (acquired in a draft-night trade), he was a key rotation player as the team continued to develop young talent—even after they signed LeBron James in 2018. Hart was included in the Anthony Davis trade, and he continued playing a pivotal role for the New Orleans Pelicans. During the 2019-20 season, Hart averaged 10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and one steal per game for the Pelicans—his first with a double-digit scoring average.
Eventually, Hart began to show more growth and potential as his role and responsibility increased. A midseason trade from New Orleans brought him to the Portland Trail Blazers—where he averaged a career-best 19.9 points per game on 50/37/77 splits in 2022. Not to mention, he started all 13 games in “Rip City” while they moved on from CJ McCollum. Afterwards, the Blazers sent him to the Knicks in a four-team trade at last year’s deadline. Despite his delegation back to the bench, Hart still provides a major boost to the orange and blue. In 25 games, he averaged 10.2 points on 58% shooting from the field and 51% from three. Hart was also reunited with former Villanova teammate Jalen Brunson.
What Hart’s New Deal Means for Knicks
The Knicks made the right move keeping Josh Hart for the next few years. Between playing for young rebuilders to young contenders, he has excelled in any situation. Hart had a season-high 27 points as the Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets in February. He also notched a double-double in a losing effort to the Denver Nuggets in December. He recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Hart provided a key boost on both ends for the Knicks. He tallied an offensive rating of 136 and a defensive rating of 112 with them in the regular season. Hart also grabbed 12.9% of the team’s rebounds and supplied 16% of their assists in the process, along with a remarkably efficient 70% True Shooting percentage.
Furthermore, Hart played a key role for the Knicks as they made some noise in the East, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games and winning their playoff first series in a decade, when they triumphed over the Boston Celtics in six games in 2013. Hart is a perfect fit with New York’s future plans, playing in a solid bench group that includes Immanuel Quickley, Donte DiVincenzo (another former Wildcat), and Isaiah Hartenstein.
This extension appears to be the final piece for New York. Hart will resume playing with Team USA and the Knicks prepare for training camp in September.
The Last Word on Josh Hart
In only a few months, Hart has won over Knicks fans with his versatility and care for the franchise. It’s clear that Josh will be a vital part of their success these next few years, and he accomplished his goal of calling New York home.
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) August 9, 2023