The Knicks could face a $100 million-plus ask with a long-shot free agent

With Mitchell Robinson sidelined for much of last season, Hartenstein stepped up and filled the void effortlessly. The 25-year-old had an outstanding season, averaging 7.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 25.3 minutes per game. Not just a skilled rebounder, Hartenstein also excels as a passer and playmaker from a position typically lacking those skills.

During the playoffs, his performance improved further, averaging 8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and a .592 shooting percentage over 13 games. His significant impact has made it crucial for the Knicks to do everything they can to retain him, even if that means trading Robinson to free up cap space.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports , several executives predict that Hartenstein could secure a deal worth at least $80 million and perhaps even more than $100 million. This expectation puts the Knicks in the position of having to make significant financial decisions, including cutting salaries to create enough room to re-sign him.

Fortunately, the Knicks own the Early Bird rights to Hartenstein, although the most they can offer him is a four-year, $72.5 million contract. This limitation opens up the possibility for other teams to outrun them and lure him away.

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