The New York Knicks have been rolling since the calendar page flipped to January and, most recently, since they acquired Josh Hart via trade prior to the February 9 trade deadline, as they’ve gone 6-0 with him on the hardwood.
This kind of momentum has the vast majority of the fanbase believing that the franchise could make some waves during this year’s postseason, and, following the club’s latest triumph over the top-seeded Boston Celtics, SNY’s Ian Begley shared comments made by their newly acquired wing suggesting he seems to believe that, if they stay hungry, this team has the capability of making some serious noise.
“I think we have a team that can make some noise. I think it’s a team that can make a run and surprise some people,” Hart said, via Begley. “We gotta continue building, but that’s something I’m extremely excited about, something that we all talk about a little bit. We try to take it game by game, but that’s definitely in the back of our mind. We want to keep pushing. We don’t want to make the playoffs. We want to make a run in the playoffs. I think that’s the biggest thing and I think we have the capability to do that. We have to continue to build and continue to grow. We can’t get complacent where we are right now.”
Soon after Hart arrived in New York, many with high-end knowledge of the game like NBA legend Magic Johnson and former journeyman Richard Jefferson shared high praise for the move by the Knicks, with Jefferson going as far as to state that his addition could be enough to help them reach the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
According to Begley, Hart shares this same sentiment, as he believes he and the Knickerbockers can make a serious run moving forward as they continue to develop chemistry with one another.
Aside from their undefeated record, since the wing’s first game with the team New York boasts the best offensive rating (123.1), the ninth-best defensive rating (111.2), and the second-best net rating (11.9) in the NBA.
Hart Open to Long-Term Future With Knicks
The early stages of Josh Hart’s tenure with the Knicks have proven to be an overall success and, as a result, he proclaimed in a recent media session that staying in New York for the long term is “something I would definitely want to do.”
“This is my sixth year in the league, fourth team, fourth organization, sixth head coach. I want a home. I want to find a home and this is a place where I would love that home to be. You know, on the court, there are so many things that align with my principles as a player, and, off the court, just being around with friends and close to family…this would be an amazing spot, this is something that I would love to be in and hopefully they feel the same.”
Hart currently finds himself in the second season of his three-year, $37.9 million deal that holds a player option for 2023-24 and many, such as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, are under the impression that the wing will decide to opt-out and test the free agency market this coming summer though, considering his latest comments, it appears he has a true desire to re-up with the franchise.
As a member of the Knicks, Hart finds himself sporting impressive per-game averages of 13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals on 61.2% shooting from the floor and 63.2% shooting from deep.
Former NBA Champ Praises Knicks Guard
Throughout this stellar 2022-23 campaign, point guard Jalen Brunson has proven himself to be worthy of every penny attached to the four-year, $104 million deal that he signed with the New York Knicks this past offseason.
In fact, one could make the argument that the 26-year-old is being underpaid relative to his production on the floor, as former big man and 2016 NBA Champion Channing Frye recently suggested that, outside of superstar Damian Lillard, Brunson has played better than any other guard in the entire association.
“If we’re gonna talk about Damian Lillard, imagine if Damian Lillard did not play this month, we would be talking about Jalen Brunson. He has had the second-best month, not only of his career but of the entire NBA, for guards…This was the biggest and best signing of the summertime…The Knicks are legit, I haven’t said that since 1972,” Frye said.
Frye joins fellow NBA alumni JJ Redick with recent praise for the Knicks guard, with Redick also agreeing that, outside of Lillard, Brunson has played “as well as any guard in the NBA” over the last month.