Isaiah Hartenstein matched his career-high 20 rebounds during the New York Knicks’ sixth victory – 106-94 over the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 13 – in their last seven games.
It was his second 20-rebound game during this 6-1 start for the fast-rising Knicks. With Hartenstein thriving as the starting center, questions have emerged regarding the future of Mitchell Robinson.
“As we noted [on Jan. 10], some opposing teams who were doing their homework before the trade deadline wanted to know more about Robinson’s health. Those teams now have some information to work with. They should also be able to evaluate him in the postseason,” SNY’s Ian Begley wrote on Jan. 11.
Begley added the Knicks’ plan to re-sign Hartenstein and keep their two centers together.
Robinson will enter into the third of his four-year, $60 million contract next season.
Hartenstein, who makes $8.1 million this season, acknowledged that he will get a huge raise when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer if he maintains his stellar play.
If teams throw Robinson-level money at Hartenstein, the Knicks might have to choose between them.
“It’s safe to assume that the Knicks would like to keep the Robinson-Hartenstein pairing intact. But if they are talking to teams about a significant trade in the offseason, those teams will almost certainly ask about Robinson,” Begley added.
Hartenstein’s durability and more refined offensive skills give him the edge over Robinson.