Note signing Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on July 6, players were officially able to sign the deals they had agreed to when free agency officially began. This means the New York Knicks are now able to sign Isaiah Hartenstein to his two-year, $16 million contract that was agreed to on the day free agency opened.

Hartenstein, who was drafted by the Rockets in 2018, had struggled to find playing time in the league. He ended up in the G League at some point.

That didn’t stop him, however, as he managed to lead the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to the G League title in 2019, earning the G League Finals MVP in the process.

He finally started to get recognition in the league, providing solid minutes for the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

How does Isaiah Hartenstein fit into the New York Knicks?

While Hartenstein’s numbers don’t come off the charts, his stats per 36 minutes say otherwise. Last season, he averaged 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes per game. Those are impressive numbers considering he’s been a backup center his entire career.

Hartenstein is not your traditional center, because he plays the game in his unique way to score, rebound and prepare teammates.

The European tall prefers to play at the high post, which could prove beneficial for the Knicks, given that new New York guard Jalen Brunson likes to work the ball by cutting towards the basket.

With Hartenstein at the high post, he opens the paint for guys like Brunson and RJ Barrett to make a play in the open ground.

He thrives in the high position in attack, but it’s also worth mentioning that he’s also making his mark on the defensive side of the ball. Hartenstein averaged 1.1 blocks per game last season, good for 15th in the league.

To have two centers ranked in the top 15 between Hartenstein and Mitchell Robinson, who has been re-signed to a four-year, $60 million deal, the Knicks will be in good hands when it comes to protecting the rim. .

Pairing Hartenstein with the bench unit could be a recipe for disaster, and it could result in one of the strongest second units in the entire NBA.

Official Knicks memo for signing Isaiah Hartenstein

For the Knicks, looking for a guy who works well at the top position and who will benefit the players around him will help team chemistry tremendously.

The bench unit will be a point of attention going forward with Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin and a fresh and healthy Derrick Rose alongside Hartenstein.

The player who will benefit the most from Hartenstein will be Obi Toppin as they can play against each other very well.

On the offensive side, using a big one in the high post and one in the low post could wreak havoc on opposing defenses.

On defense, Hartenstein is one of the most underrated shot blockers in the league, which may cover up Toppin’s defensive lapses. Not to mention that Hartenstein is a solid rebounder, which will allow Toppin to come out on the fast break for jaw-dropping dunks.

The Knicks bench unit will be stronger than ever, and the addition of Hartenstein fits perfectly into Tom Thibodeau’s system.

Final grade: A+