One of the first major moves of the NBA trade deadline came when Josh Hart was traded from the Portland Trail Blazers to the New York Knicks. The move signaled a reunion with former Villanova teammate Jalen Brunson. After missing the first game since the trade deadline, Hart is now officially cleared to play for New York, per Tommy Beer. He is set to make his Knicks debut on Saturday against the Utah Jazz.
“League source confirms Josh Hart will be available to make his NY debut tonight vs. Utah.”
The Knicks traded for Josh Hart in order to alleviate their issues from the wing position. RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes has been shouldering the load a lot for the team this season. Hart isn’t a natural shot-creator, but he provides shooting and defense to help their two main wings rest. He, in theory, should also slot in well with Julius Randle.
The 2022-23 season has been going alright for the Knicks this season. They’re not in a bad position, per se: they still have the seventh seed in the East, after all. That guarantees them a Play-In Tournament spot at the very least. However, going through that tournament would be a massive pain for any team. New York is trying to move up the standings, and this move for Josh Hart shows exactly that.
If there’s one person over the moon for this trade, it’s Jalen Brunson. Brunson was teammates with Hart on the Villanova teams that would routinely make deep runs in the NCAA playoffs. Perhaps the two can rekindle their Final Four magic for the Knicks.