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Josh Hart exercises player option for 2023-24 season, stays a Knick

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2023 NBA Playoffs - Miami Heat v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

New York Knicks guard Josh Hart has agreed to exercise his $12.9M player option to stay within the organization through next season. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the deal on Thursday, right on the (already extended from the original June 24 deadline) date in which the option was about to expire and a decision had to be made by Hart.

The Knicks acquired Hart in return for a trade package headlined by Ryan Arcidiacono, Cam Reddish, and a 2023 first-round pick sent to Portland right before the February deadline. He joined fellow Villanova alumn Jalen Brunson, and the pair might now be joined by another former Wildcat in Donte DiVincenzo if the rumors end up being true.

During his time as a Knick in the regular season, Hart made a significant impact by shooting an impressive 58% overall and nearly 52% from beyond the arc in his 25 games donning Knickerbocker threads.

Hart put together arguably his best campaign through six seasons in the Association averaging 14.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.8 dimes, and 1.8 steals per 100 possessions last year.

Hart began with the Los Angeles Lakers and then went on to play with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Blazers before arriving in New York. That won’t change next season and most probably beyond, as both Hart and the Knicks are expected to work out a long-term deal that will give the player more money over a larger period while allowing the franchise to retain the key pieces in their 2023 run through the NBA postseason.

This is the second move completed by New York ahead of the official free agency opening on Friday at 6 p.m. after the Knicks already declined the team option attached to the final year of Derrick Rose’s deal with the organization.

Expect more fireworks through the next few hours and day. The party is just getting started.