In what was an unexpected move, Josh Hart opted into his $12.9 million contract option for the 23-24 season earlier this summer. In fact, it was so surprising that some even thought that it was a sign that the shooting guard would be on his way out via a trade. Well, Hart ended up staying and it’s widely believed that he’ll be in New York for the foreseeable future with his Villanova costars. The veteran wing, who came to New York right before the trade deadline and made an immediate impact on the team and it’s fanbase, is expected to sign a multi-year contract extension in August in the ballpark of $75 million over four years.
Hart averaged 10.2PPG, 7RPG, 3.6APG, and 1.4SPG since coming over to New York and became an integral part of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation and the team’s late season success thanks to the wide array of ways in which he contributed to winning. The 6’4” guard displayed the kind of hustle, heart, and defense that the city instantly fell in love with, he provided the team with a level of elite positional rebounding it sorely lacked, and he had a knack for upping the tempo and creating fastbreak opportunities for a team that too often opted to playing slow.
The utility role player did have a rocky playoffs though. After what was an incredibly promising performance in the Cavaliers series, Hart was nearly played off the court against a Heat team that dared him to take and make wide open jump shots. It was a humbling series that showed that Hart does have very obvious flaws. That being said, as a whole, it’s clear that the team rightfully views him as a valuable player. And Hart, who took a team-friendly one year pay cut, now will be rewarded for his play with an annual average of around $18.75 million, which is around what many around the league expected he’d command in the open market.