Thunder Free Agency: OKC officially meeting with popular free agent big man

Reports state the OKC Thunder are officially meeting with top-billed free agent big man, Isaiah Hartenstein.
Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks / Elsa/GettyImages

For months now, it has been rumored that the OKC Thunder have a serious interest in pursuing New York Knicks playoff darling, Isaiah Hartenstein, during the 2024 NBA Free Agency period.

Within the first hour after the official 6 PM (EST) kick-off to the festivities, it is being reported that the two parties are officially meeting with one another, as first noted by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Reports state Thunder officially meet with Knicks big, Isaiah Hartenstein

Per the NBA Insider's sources, the Thunder have traveled out to Hartenstein's native home of Eugene, Oregon, for a meet-up.

As interestingly noted by seasoned beat writer Brandon Rahbar, this isn't the first time Sam Presti and company have ventured out of Oklahoma City to set up a meeting with a coveted NBA free agent, as he would note that he "famously flew to Minnesota to meet with Mike Muscala personally to sign him as a free agent" back during the 2019 offseason.

According to reports by HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, the franchise has shown "a lot of intrigue" in signing Hartenstein heading into free agency and it's easy to see why.

In 75 games played this past season with the Knicks, Hartenstein went on to post career-best averages of 7.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks a night.

He would then step up during the postseason in the absence of general starting center Mitchell Robinson, who went down with an ankle injury, and put forth phenomenal two-way efforts while posting 8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and just shy of a block per game on 59.2 percent shooting from the floor and 50.0 percent shooting from distance throughout their two-round excursion.

With his productivity, Hartenstein heads into the 2024 NBA Free Agency as one of the top-billed available big men on the market, with Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports going as far as to report that he could net "at least $80 million, and perhaps upward of $100 million" with his next deal.