3 Advantages Thunder have over Knicks in Isaiah Hartenstein free agency pursuit

The Thunder are interested in Hartenstein.
New York Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein
New York Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The last thing the New York Knicks fans want is for Isaiah Hartenstein to sign elsewhere in free agency, especially because the center market isn't loaded with talent. It'll be difficult for New York to replace Hartenstein, even though Mitchell Robinson has two more years left on his contract.

It doesn't help that the Knicks are capped at how much they can offer I-Hart. A four-year, $72.5 million deal is the most Hartenstein can sign for. He could make more money elsewhere. Oklahoma City has popped up as a potential destination for Hartenstein because of the team's cap space, and it turns out the Thunder could make the center an offer once free agency begins.

New York Post's Stefan Bondy reported that an NBA source said OKC's interest in I-Hart is "real." The Thunder could sign him to a shorter-term deal to allow for financial flexibility. If that's an offer they make, what would make Hartenstein say yes?

3 reasons Hartenstein could sign with Thunder over Knicks in free agency

3. Chance to help the Thunder win their first NBA title

Thanks to Sam Presti, the Thunder have assembled more draft assets than any other team in the league. Like New York, OKC is a top team in its conference and hasn't cashed in its assets, making the Thunder more of a threat.

Oklahoma City is in one of the best positions in the league and is already considered a contender. If I-Hart left the Knicks, who finished No. 2 in the East, he'd go to the top team in the West. Typically, when players follow the money, it's to an unestablished team. The Thunder are the exact opposite.

The Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook duo didn't result in OKC's first championship (the Sonics won a few), so fans of the small-market team have high hopes one will come in the next few years. Sure, Hartenstein could help the Knicks end their 50+ year championship drought, but it'd also be special to help the Thunder win their first. He and his teammates would instantly go down as Oklahoma legends.