Underrated wing Josh Hart is the latest player changing teams with the 2023 NBA trade deadline quickly approaching. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Portland Trail Blazers have sent the forward to the New York Knicks.
The report indicates that New York is sending Cam Reddish and a protected future first-round pick to Portland in the deal.
This is a pretty solid move for a Knicks squad that is looking to contend for a playoff spot down the stretch.
A first-round pick of the Utah Jazz back in 2017, the 27-year-old Hart was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers during draft night. He spent two seasons in Los Angeles before being included in the blockbuster trade that sent Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to Southern California during the summer of 2019.
Since then, Hard has proven himself to be among the most underrated three-and-D guys in the league. He’s taken that to a whole new level in 2022-23 with free agency potentially looming this coming summer.
Related: Updated NBA trade tracker
- Josh Hart stats (2022-23): 9.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.1 SPG, 50% shooting, 30% 3-point
One of the better perimeter defenders in the game, Hart is going to fit Tom Thibodeau’s scheme to a T in the Big Apple. As for a potential future in New York beyond the 2022-23 campaign, Josh Hart has a $12.96 million player option for next season. He’s likely going to decline it with what will be strong interest in his services.
That’s likely one of the primary reasons a playoff contender in the Blazers opted to deal Hart ahead of the NBA trade deadline. They didn’t want to get into a bidding war for his services with other wings such as Anfernee Simons, rookie Shaedon Sharpe and the recently-acquired Cam Reddish currently on the roster.
From Portland’s perspective, it is able to see what a young former first-round pick in Reddish has to offer and decide whether to contend for his services as a restricted free agent this coming summer.
A former top-10 pick of the Atlanta Hawks, Reddish was acquired by New York during the 2021-22 season. He had fallen out of favor in New York, losing his spot in the rotation.
The Knicks now add someone who will start at the three, filling out their initial five in a big way. Josh Hart will join the likes of Jalen Brunson, R.J. Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson in New York’s starting five.