Offseason Report Card: Knicks get two As and three Bs for summer moves

Obi Toppin (1Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Obi Toppin (1Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 7
New York Knicks, Josh Hart
Mar 7, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) runs up court against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Josh Hart opted-in

Josh Hart opted into the final year of his contract, presumably with a plan to sign an extension

The true outcome of the negotiations between Josh Hart and the New York Knicks is unknown, especially as the reporting has been fairly silent since Hart opted into the final season of his contract. The two sides are expected to come to terms on an extension any time now, but until it happens it can’t be assumed.

For now, however, we can grade the Knicks’ accomplishment of Hart opting into the final year of his contract, which pays him just $12.96 million. That’s a bargain of a deal for Hart, who is in line for an even larger role this season after the trading of Obi Toppin. If he had opted out it’s very possible he makes $18 million or more per season on the open market.

Hart was an excellent trade deadline addition for the Knicks last season, filling a valuable role and leveraging his rebounding to help put away the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs. His 50 percent 3-point shooting is unlikely to sustain, but if he can just hit league-average his defense, rebounding and playmaking will all be important to the Knicks this season.

Whatever happens with the extension, the first step was convincing Hart to opt in, giving them the leverage in the situation and securing Hart’s services for this season at a discounted amount. If the eventual extension comes in at something insane like 4-for-$100 million this grade will change, but for now, it looks like a good piece of business for the Knicks.

Grade: B+