Magic Could Sign Knicks Center

New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein is about to enter free agency.
Feb 7, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic center Moritz Wagner (right) is fouled by New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic center Moritz Wagner (right) is fouled by New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are going to have to fight to keep Isaiah Hartenstein on the team, and they may now have a rival looking to sign him in free agency.

"New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein will enter the free agent market as one of the top players in his position. The Oklahoma City Thunder have been linked to several centers heading into free agency, including Hartenstein, as previously reported by HoopsHype. The Orlando Magic is another team to monitor for Hartenstein, according to rival NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype,"HoopsHype writes.

Hartenstein, 26, can sign a deal worth $72.5 million over four years from the Knicks, but other teams could look to offer him more than that, and possibly as much as $20 million per year.

The Magic, like the Thunder, have the cap space in order to offer him such a contract. The Magic have a need for a rim-protecting center, but it remains to be seen if they would be willing to outbid the Knicks and Thunder for him.

The Magic were reportedly interested in signing Hartenstein back in 2022 before he signed with the Knicks, so it's possible that the interest never waned. If anything, it's probably improved given how well he has played in his two years with the Knicks.

During his time with New York, Hartenstein has averaged 6.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, but most of his impact goes beyond the box score. Hartenstein has a strong combination of rim protection skills and screening abilities, which explains why teams are willing to pay him as much as they are in free agency.

The Magic's interest in Hartenstein shouldn't complicate the Knicks' role in all of this too much, especially given the fact that the Thunder also seem intrigued with the idea of signing him.

It's going to come down to whether or not a team would be willing to pay more than what the Knicks can, and if Hartenstein would take a hometown discount. There's potential for him to sign for less money with the Knicks because New York can offer him a starting role while Oklahoma City and Orlando would be less hesitant to do the same.

The Knicks will offer Hartenstein all they can, and then the ball will roll into his court.

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Jeremy Brener

JEREMY BRENER

Jeremy Brener is an editor, writer and social media manager for several Fan Nation websites. His work has also been featured in 247 Sports and SB Nation as a writer and podcaster. Brener has been with Fan Nation since 2021. Brener grew up in Houston, going to Astros, Rockets and Texans games as a kid. He moved to Orlando in 2016 to go to college and pursue a degree. He hosts "The Dream Take" podcast covering the Rockets, which has produced over 350 episodes since March 2020. Brener graduated in May 2020 from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism minoring in Sport Business Management. While at UCF, Brener worked for the school's newspaper NSM.today and "Hitting the Field," a student-run sports talk show and network. He was the executive producer for "Hitting the Field" from 2019-20. During his professional career, Brener has covered a number of major sporting events including the Pro Bowl, March Madness and several NBA and NFL games. As a fan, Brener has been to the 2005 World Series, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 NCAA National Championship between the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels. Now, Brener still resides in the Central Florida area and enjoys writing, watching TV, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Brener can be followed on Twitter @JeremyBrener. For more inquiries, please email jeremybrenerchs@gmail.com.