Thunder Becoming Favorites to Sign Isaiah Hartenstein

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Isaiah Hartenstein is going to be one of the more sought-after free agents this coming offseason. One team who will be in the market for a big man is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder finished as the first seed in the Western Conference this year. However, their lack of a traditional center was magnified in the second round of the playoffs when the more physical Dallas Mavericks’ frontcourt was able to make a living catching lobs and securing second-chance points. There seems to be mutual interest between Isaiah Hartenstein and the Oklahoma City Thunder at this point in time.

Oklahoma City Thunder Looming as Threat to Sign Isaiah Hartenstein

Isaiah Hartenstein’s Impressive Campaign With the New York Knicks

Hartenstein was a revelation with the Knicks this past season. Especially in the playoffs. During the regular season, the center averaged 7.8 points, 8.3 total rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.1 blocks per game, and a field goal percentage of 64.4 percent. On top of this, Hartenstein also logged a career-best offensive rating of 136 to along with a defensive rating of 108. To top if off, he even recorded a player efficiency rating of 18.9, a career-high true shooting percentage of 67.0 percent, and a box plus/minus rating of 3.5.

During the playoffs, Isaiah Hartenstein was one of the most important players for New York. He made hustle play after hustle play and showcased his value as a defender making life difficult for Joel Embiid at times. Throughout the postseason, he tallied 8.5 points, 7.8 total rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.9 blocks per game, and a field goal percentage of 59.2 percent. Hartenstein is the ideal role player for many teams and would be a terrific fit with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

His Potential Fit With the Oklahoma City Thunder

While some may have concerns about the spacing of the Thunder’s lineup with Hartenstein inserted into the mix, one could argue it would even out eventually. He would provide some rim-protection while the Thunder’s “big three,” of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, and Jalen Williams would continue to get their touches offensively.

While the Thunder like to open up the paint for Gilgeous-Alexander and Williams to cut and attack the rim, Hartenstein would also be another body to secure second-chance opportunities. He would provide physicality down low while Chet Holmgren could play in a stretch-four role focusing on his face-up game. Considering all of this, it makes sense why the Oklahoma City Thunder are showing heavy interest in the seven-foot big man.

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