In 25 games last season, Josh Hart proved to be a key reserve for the Knicks after being acquired at the trade deadline. Now he’s been rewarded.
Hart and the Knicks are agreeing to finalize a four-year, $81 million contract extension on Wednesday, per multiple reports. The sixth-year wing is currently with Team USA as they prepare for the FIBA World Cup later this month.
The deal will be finalized as soon as Thursday because per league rules, a player must wait six months after being traded before signing an extension.
Hart picked up his $12.96 million player option in June, which made him eligible for a longer extension beginning in 2024-25. In the first year of his deal, he'll make $18.1 million.
Soon after his arrival, he spoke highly of wanting to stay in New York after joining his fourth NBA team in six seasons. It also helped that he was reunited with former Villanova teammate Jalen Brunson.
“I want a home. I want to find a home," Hart said in February. "This is a place where I would love that home to be."
Hart averaged 10.2 points and 7.0 rebounds with the Knicks and shot 58.6% from the field. He also started five of the 11 games in the playoffs and slightly increased his production to 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds as the Knicks reached the second round.
The Knicks added Hart, who also played with the Lakers and Pelicans, in a trade that sent Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono and Svi Mykhailiuk to the Trail Blazers. Portland also acquired the Knicks’ first-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft, which it used to select Iowa guard Kris Murray.
Hart didn’t play in Team USA’s exhibition Monday against Puerto Rico. Per The Athletic, the absence wasn’t due to injury but ongoing talks for his extension. He’ll be available when the national team faces Slovenia in an exhibition game on Saturday (3:30 p.m., FS1)
Hart’s scoring, defense and decision-making brought a jolt to the Knicks' second unit and made him a fan favorite even in a short time. Now he’ll be around a while to build on that alongside Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.
“He’s been a person that has adapted to every situation that he’s been a part of, and he’s made it work,” Brunson said during last season’s playoffs. “He understands what’s needed of him and what he needs to do out there, and he does it. That’s how he’s been. That’s how he’s been raised.”