Re-grading the legendary Knicks-Blazers trade that sent Josh Hart to New York

Thank goodness for that 2023 deadline deal.
New York Knicks, Josh Hart
New York Knicks, Josh Hart / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Josh Hart has only played for the New York Knicks for 15 months, but it seems like it's been a lifetime. If you asked him, he'd probably say the same, considering he plays under Tom Thibodeau, who doesn't believe in load management. It's a fit that's worked well for Hart, even with all his complaints.

With Julius Randle (and now Bojan Bogdanovic) sidelined, Hart has been much more important for New York in the playoffs. He's coming off a 48-minute performance in which he posted a playoff career-high 24 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and one block.

Knicks fans (and Jalen Brunson) were hyped after the 2023 trade with the Trail Blazers, but even they didn't know what they were in store for. Hart is the definition of a New York player. He's six-foot-four but doesn't play like that. He'll out-rebound anyone, even Joel Embiid. It sounds cheesy, but Hart was destined to play for the Knicks.

Knicks robbed the Trail Blazers in 2023 deadline Josh Hart trade

New York sent Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk, and a 2023 protected first-round pick to Portland for Hart. Reddish spent the rest of the 2022-23 season with the Blazers before he signed with the Lakers in free agency. Portland waived Arcidiacono, and Mykhailiuk was moved to Charlotte before the deadline.

The most significant asset the Knicks gave up was the protected pick, but that wasn't much. That's a trade New York's front office would do 10 out of 10 times.

Hart opted into his $12.9 million player option for 2023-24 to give the Knicks financial flexibility, which helped the team sign Donte DiVincenzo. As soon as Hart was eligible to sign an extension, he agreed to a four-year, $81 million deal that will start next season.

The trade for Hart was viewed as a home run when it happened, but it's since turned into a game-winning grand slam. When his number is called, he always answers. There isn't anything Hart can't do. Brunson is New York's best player, but Hart's the heartbeat (literally). Whether the Knicks need an offensive rebound or a clutch three down the stretch, Hart's there.

Considering we gave the trade an A in 2023, it's now an A+++++++++. You can add a few more pluses, too!