Knicks guard/forward Josh Hart very well could opt out of his contract at the end of the season, then re-sign with the team, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
Hart was acquired in the Cam Reddish trade with the Trail Blazers in February — and the Knicks have gone 9-1 since pulling off the deal.
Hart, 28, is averaging 11.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 10 games with New York. Scotto referred to him as a “Swiss Army knife,” adding that those around the league view Hart and coach Tom Thibodeau as the perfect match.
“Hart has almost a $13 million player option this summer, which he’s expected to decline and become a free agent,” Scotto said on the HoopsHype podcast with Ian Begley of SNY.tv. “But fear not Knicks fans, Hart loves the fit in New York, and the Knicks want to re-sign him in free agency… I don’t see him leaving.”
Scotto added a conversation with Hornets coach Steve Clifford that he had about Hart in New York.
“I think he’s a winning player. He plays both ends, and he’s shot the ball well there,” Clifford told Scotto. “I think he has the ability to defend primary scorers, which right now if you want to talk about playoffs, that’s a big deal because teams play five out or four out and one in. He can guard those guys and make it hard on them, which not a lot of guys can. I think he’d be viewed across the league as a guy who does the little things. He’s a great teammate and plays with purpose and energy every night. There aren’t a lot of those guys.”
The Knicks (39-28) currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and are about to embark on a four-game trip out West, beginning Thursday in Sacramento.
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