Hartenstein or Robinson? The Major Question the New York Knicks Must Answer This Offseason

After a disappointing finish to the 2023-24 season, the New York Knicks find themselves with a major decision for the center position.
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Elsa/GettyImages

After Mitchell Robinson went down in December with an ankle injury, Hartenstein was asked to step up and he did in spades. In Robinson's absence, Hartenstein would average 8.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game to go along with a steal and a block. Hartenstein's performance was impressive, enough to garner a big payday with his looming free agency.

According to Sports Illustrated, the New York Knicks are prepared to offer Hartenstein a whopping 4-year/72.5 million dollar contract once free agency starts. That's a lot of money considering the Knicks also have to pay OG Anunoby, as well as a looming Julius Randle contract extension.

The Knicks also have their former starter, Mitchell Robinson on the books for roughly 15 million dollars next season.

Having over 30 million dollars tied up in two non-All-Star caliber centers can quickly become a sticky situation for New York. Especially, considering their need to allocate money elsewhere. This is where the Knicks have to ask if keeping both of their guys is the best way to move forward. With hopes of returning to the NBA Finals, New York will likely have to make some tough decisions this offseason, one of them being picking between their two beloved centers.

Ideally, the Knicks can work some magic and keep both of their big men. However, money is tight and the Knicks need to shed some salary to keep the main core together. Whether it's a sign-and-trade with Hartenstein, or Robinson being sent in a package for an All-Star caliber player, it will be interesting to see how the Knicks handle the situation.

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