Isaiah Hartenstein's 2022 free agency admission will pain Clippers fans

Hartenstein signed with the Knicks in 2022.
New York Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein
New York Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

In 2022 free agency, the New York Knicks quickly signed Isaiah Hartenstein to a two-year, $16 million deal. The former Clippers center was set to be Mitchell Robinson's backup, but he's turned out to be much more than that.

Hartenstein is nearing the end of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent over the summer. He's due for a big payday, especially after how he played this season when New York was without Mitchell Robinson. As a starter, he's averaging 9.7 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 2.9 assists per game. Even now that Robinson is back, Hartenstein is still in the starting lineup.

The 25-year-old has undoubtedly had the best seasons of his career in New York. Before signing with the Knicks, Hartenstein played for the Rockets, Nuggets, Cavaliers, and Clippers. In LA, his most recent team, he averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in 2021-22.

On the latest episode of the "Roommates Show" with Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, Hartenstein said he wanted to stay with the Clippers and was willing to take a pay cut to do so. Instead, LA signed John Wall to a two-year, $13 million deal.

Clippers chose John Wall over Isaiah Hartenstein in 2022 free agency

Last season, Wall averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assists per game in LA before he was traded back to Houston ahead of the 2023 deadline. The Rockets waived Wall, who hasn't played a game since his time with the Clippers.

If Steve Ballmer could go back in time, he'd undoubtedly choose Hartenstein over Wall. Knicks fans couldn't be more grateful for the Clippers' blunder.

If it weren't for Hartenstein, the already banged-up Knicks wouldn't be in the position they are. He's dealt with a sore Achilles that kept him sidelined for a few games, but he's since said he feels much better. A healthy Hartenstein and Robinson in the playoffs will be killer. Thanks again, LA!

Who knows how Hartenstein's future will play out this offseason? It'd be nice to see him stay in New York, but other teams will also be vying for his services.

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