The Knicks’ Josh Hart raises his arm after fighting for...

The Knicks’ Josh Hart raises his arm after fighting for a score in the fourth quarter against the Caverliers at Madison Square Garden on April 23. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Josh Hart’s first step of staying with the Knicks was picking up his $12.96 million player option in June. On Thursday, his next step became a longer term commitment.

The Knicks announced that Hart signed his four-year, $81 million extension, which brings back a key piece of last season’s core. In 25 games last season, Hart became a valued reserve wing during the team’s playoff push after his arrival from a trade with the Trail Blazers.

“Josh’s immediate impact on our team last season - both on and off the court - cannot be understated,” Knicks president Leon Rose said in a release. “The leadership and competitiveness Josh brings fits perfectly with the culture we are building.”

Hart averaged 10.2 points and 7.0 rebounds with the Knicks while shooting 58.6% from the field. After his arrival, the Knicks finished the season 17-8 and reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

"I knew it would be a good fit style-wise,” Hart said of the Knicks in March. “It kind of exceeded my expectations, especially as quickly as it did. System, coaching staff, team, it fit perfectly.”

Per multiple reports, Hart will make $18.1 million in 2024-25, the first year of his deal. It covers 12.8% of the Knicks’ salary cap, which is less than Julius Randle, RJ Barrett and Jalen Brunson. It’s also less than Evan Fournier if the Knicks choose to pick up his $19 million option after next season.

Over the next three years, Hart’s salary will increase to $19.6 million, $21 million and $22.5 million.

Hart is with Team USA as they continue their exhibition schedule leading up to the FIBA World Cup starting Aug. 25. He didn’t play in Team USA’s opening win over Puerto Rico due to talks over his extension but he’s expected to play Saturday when they face Slovenia (3:30 p.m., FS1).

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