Just In: Could New York Knicks afford $100 million Hartenstein in free agency?…

After a sensational showing in the NBA Playoffs, the New York Knicks may not be able to afford Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency.

Looking back at the New York Knicks’ playoff run, which fell one game short of their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 24 years, there’s an argument to be made that there wasn’t a player on the team that benefited the most than Isaiah Hartenstein. Entering the playoffs as a player that perhaps was not a household name across the league, that has now changed.

Heading into the offseason, as he prepares to test the free agency market, Hartenstein is a player that is now well-known. Hitting the open market at just the right time, after averaging nine points and eight rebounds on 59 percent shooting from the field in the playoffs, Hartenstein is in line for a huge payday. So much so that he may have played himself out of a Knicks uniform.

According to NBA insider Jake Fischer, there’s a growing sense that the Knicks may not be able to afford Hartenstein in free agency this offseason considering that he could be in line for a $100 million contract. With the extensions that the Knicks have to work on from Jalen Brunson, OG Anunoby, and possibly even Julius Randle, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that New York will be able to give Hartenstein the big contract that he could demand on the open market.

The New York Knicks may have to find a replacement for Isaiah Hartenstein

Heading into an offseason in which the Knicks will attempt to find the final piece of their championship puzzle, there’s all of a sudden a growing chance that may also have to figure out how to find a replacement for Hartenstein.

As a player who quickly emerged as an important piece for the Knicks, first off the bench and then starting in place of the often-injured Mitchell Robinson this season, New York could have a pretty big hole at the center position.

One potential pathway to keeping Hartenstein around is the scenario in which New York attempts to trade Robinson in order to make room for the former’s new contract. Whether or not the Knicks would be able to do that remains to be seen but, at this point, it has to be on the table for the team heading into the offseason.

All signs continue to point to Hartenstein getting his big payday this offseason. The question is, will it come from the Knicks or another team?

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