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Knicks hit jackpot with big sleeper find who could explode into a star alongside Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson, Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein

The New York Knicks got the man they have been salivating over for several months now, as they managed to lure Jalen Brunson away from the Dallas Mavericks to Gotham with a tantalizingly massive contract. But apart from Brunson, the Knicks have also secured another piece that might not be turning a lot of heads but could end up being the biggest bang-for-the-buck acquisition for the team this offseason — Isaiah Hartenstein.

The seven-footer is headed to the Big Apple after agreeing to a two-year deal with the Knicks that’s worth $16 million, and fans of the storied franchise must be ecstatic, according to Tommy Beer:

His assist rate of 19.3% ranked fourth behind all qualified centers in 2021-22, trailing only Nikola Jokić, Joel Embiid and Domantas Sabonis. Hartenstein averaged a whopping 4.7 assists per-36 minutes. The only other players to average more than 4.5 dimes to go along with at least nine rebounds and one steal per-36 mins last season were Draymond Green, Nikola Jokić, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steven Adams and Luka Dončić. Among those six players, Hartenstein was the only one to average more than two blocks/36.

With Brunson coming to town, the Knicks can expect better ball movement. After all, there’s no way but up for New York after placing last in the 2021-22 NBA season with just 21.9 assists per game. But Isaiah Hartenstein should also be playing a key role in improving the Knicks’ offense with his ability to drop dimes.

Hartenstein played for the Los Angeles Clippers last season where he averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in just 17.9 minutes on the floor per game.