1: Josh Hart
Josh Hart did New York a favor by exercising his $12.9 million player option for 2023-24 that allowed the Knicks to sign Donte DiVincenzo. He became extension eligible on Aug. 9, and that same day he and New York were finalizing a four-year, $81 million extension.
The extension makes him ineligible to be traded for six months, which won’t be until after the trade deadline. Even if he could be traded, a lot would have to happen for the Knicks to reach that point. After being moved the past two deadlines in 2022 and 2023, Hart will without a doubt still be on the roster once the deadline passes.
When Hart arrived in New York this past February, it was as if he had been part of the city all along. The Knicks won nine straight games after Hart debuted on Feb. 11, including two games against the Celtics and one against the Heat. He finished the regular season averaging 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, shooting an absurd 58.6% from the floor and 51.9% from three.
The upcoming season will be Josh Hart’s first full season in New York, and it shouldn’t be his last. The Villanova connection is only getting started.