A month after New York Knicks wing Josh Hart surprised many around the league by opting into his $12.9 million contract option for the 2023-24 NBA season, it appears the former Portland Trail Blazer is still due for a pay raise in the Big Apple.
Hart is expected to sign a multi-year contract extension in August around the range of four years, $75 million, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
These numbers, just shy of $19 million per year, fall more in line with estimates of what Hart would’ve received on the open market had he opted out of the player option and tested free agency.
When Hart was still a Trail Blazer in the first half of this past season, much was made about the $12.9 million player option in his contract for the 2023-24 season.
The common perspective, assumed practically as fact, was Hart would decline the option, enter unrestricted agency, and sign a more lucrative deal closer to his value on the court. That likely scenario was a large part of the justification explaining why the Blazers decided to trade the elite role player to the Knicks for Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2023 first-round pick in February (that first-round pick would turn into Iowa forward Kris Murray).
Then the off-season rolled around and Hart...opted into the player option.
For taking what could be viewed as a one-year pay cut, now the Knicks appear ready to reward Hart and secure his services for the long-term. In his half-season stint with the Knicks, Hart helped the franchise reach the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2013.