Latest Knicks free agency report gives fans some positivity amid uncertainty

Hopefully, both will be back.
New York Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein
New York Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The worry has already started to set in. As free agency draws nearer, the fear that the New York Knicks could lose Isaiah Hartenstein and OG Anunoby grows stronger, specifically with the center. New York is capped on how much it can offer Hartenstein, and he could easily get more money elsewhere.

New York Post's Stefan Bondy reported that an NBA source said the Thunder's interest in I-Hart is "real." OKC could offer him a lot of money on a short-term deal, giving the organization financial flexibility. Other teams, such as Detroit, are worth monitoring.

The Sixers are interested in Anunoby. Daryl Morey is trying to build a true contender around Joel Embiid, and adding the wing to the mix would help Philadelphia's case. Anunoby has a $19.9 million player option he's expected to decline. Remember that he's a CAA client, represented by Sam Rose, Leon's son.

If the Knicks keep both, that'd be a massive win for the organization. Anything can happen, but it's a good sign that the front office is confident that Hartenstein and Anunoby will stay in New York.

Will Knicks keep Isaiah Hartenstein and OG Anunoby?

SNY's Ian Begley reported that after New York's season ended, members of the organization felt as if they were in "a good place" with Hartenstein and Anunoby.

"One thing worth noting on both Anunoby and Hartenstein: The Knicks obviously know that both players will garner strong interest from opposing teams. But even factoring that in, members of the organization felt earlier in the offseason that they were in a good place on both Anunoby and Hartenstein as both players approach their free agencies. That’s according to people in touch with the team after their season ended in a second round loss to Indiana."

It's important to note that three weeks have passed since the Knicks were eliminated, but there's reason to believe the sentiment is the same. New York should've already suspected that teams like OKC would be interested in Hartenstein. The front office has known they'd be limited in how much they can offer the center.

In recent years, the culture has shifted. The Knicks are no longer a joke. Players want to be in New York (just not in Brooklyn). Hartenstein and Anunoby played a significant role in the team's success in 2023-24, and returning to the Knicks to end the championship drought should be enticing.