Former Blazers wing cashes in with huge new contract extension

Jalen Brunson (left) and Josh Hart, USA Men's Basketball National Team (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Jalen Brunson (left) and Josh Hart, USA Men's Basketball National Team (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Trail Blazers officially went into full tank mode at the end of last season when they shut down Damian Lillard, Jerami Grant, Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic, but the writing was on the wall at the February trade deadline.

Portland traded two established veterans for picks and a few young players, only one of which – Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle – had already proven himself to be an NBA starter.

Now, one of those players the Blazers dealt away has earned himself a handsome new contract extension.

Former Blazers wing Josh Hart agreed to a four-year, $81 million extension with the New York Knicks

Portland traded Josh Hart at the deadline to the Knicks for Cam Reddish, Svi Mykhailiuk, Ryan Arcidiacono and first-round pick that turned into Kris Murray; now, Hart has gotten paid by New York.

Hart is signed through the 2027-28 season and will make a total of $94 million across that span.

Mykhailiuk was moved immediately after the deal and Arcidiacono was waived later in the season, so the trade was essentially Hart for Reddish (now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers) and Murray.

Hart’s fate was decided long before the deadline, though. He held a player option for $12.9 million for the 2023-24 season but was going to sign a long-term deal somewhere, and neither he nor the Blazers were interested in that happening in Portland.

The former Villanova star had no desire to be part of a rebuild, and the Blazers weren’t interested in locking up a fifth starter-type player as they continued to reset their roster.

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Hart started all 64 games he played with the Trail Blazers, averaging 11.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.1 steals.