Josh Hart is headed to the New York Knicks.
The Portland Trail Blazers struck a deal with the Knicks minutes before they were set to tip off at the Moda Center on Wednesday night. Portland is sending Hart to the Knicks in exchange for forward Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk and a future first-round draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Blazers reportedly also will receive a lottery-protected 2023 first-round draft pick that if it doesn’t convey will become four future second-rounders.
The 26-28 Trail Blazers make for a complicated albeit interesting trade partner since it seems like there isn’t a consensus on what people think they’ll do and want moving forward. They are a team that surely wants to put a contending roster around the explosive yet aging Damian Lillard, but they must also be thinking about the benefits of shipping out as many veterans as possible and trying to retool, if not rebuild completely around the likes of Anfernee Simons and Shadeon Sharpe.
One player that could help a deal get done between these two teams is the Trail Blazers’ Josh Hart. New York had been rumored to be interested in Hart in the past and is reportedly taking another look at him. The veteran wing has the potential to remedy some of the Knicks’ second-unit scoring struggles, but that potential comes with a big caveat.
Offensive rebounding is a strength for the Knicks this season, as they rank third in offensive rebounding percentage and first in second-chance points per game.
Offensively, Hart is a good facilitator and shoots over 70% at the rim. His 3-point attempts, however, have declined sharply this season, down to less than 3 per game after averaging 4 in 2021-22.
Hart is making $12.9 million this season and has a player option for the same amount next season. If he exercises the option to return by a June 25 deadline, the contract becomes nonguaranteed.
The deal reunites him with Knicks star guard Jalen Brunson, his former teammate at Villanova. The two helped the Wildcats win a national championship in 2016.
Brunson had his No. 1 jersey retired at halftime of Villanova’s game against DePaul on Wednesday night. He was seen on video first learning of the trade after the ceremony and yelled out: “Yes!”
Reddish, 23, has been looking for a new opportunity after falling out of the rotation with the Knicks. New York acquired the Duke product in a trade with the Hawks last year, but Reddish has not played in a game since Dec. 3 and hasn’t started since Nov. 18.
The No. 10 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Reddish has struggled to find consistent playing time throughout his career but has shown flashes of potential as a scorer at various points.
Reddish is averaging 8.4 points per game while shooting nearly 45% from the field.
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