3 Reasons why Isaiah Hartenstein is the perfect signing for the Thunder

With Oklahoma City and Isaiah Hartenstein set to put pen to paper, there are a few reasons as to why he's a perfect fit for the Thunder.
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Elsa/GettyImages
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As the Oklahoma City Thunder and Isaiah Hartenstein agreed to a deal earlier this week, the two sides are eager to begin their relationship. Signing Hartenstein is a massive move for the Thunder, as the franchise doesn't often attract incoming free agents on the open market.

The thought of Hartenstein in Oklahoma City is an extremely exciting one. He addresses so many needs that the team has, and seamlessly slots into so many different lineups that coach Mark Daigneault now has at his disposal.

Across the fanbase and media, many people were voicing their concern for the Thunder's size on the roster and felt it had to be addressed in the offseason for the team to get better. After not targeting any bigs in the draft, the organization quickly set its gaze on Hartenstein.

There are multiple reasons why a player like Hartenstein is a perfect fit with this current roster and situation and he immediately boosts the Thunder's title chances and hopes.

1. Addresses the biggest need for Thunder

The biggest and most glaring issue this season for OKC was their rebounding ability. It was exposed in the playoffs as players such as Jonas Valanciunas, Derrick Lively II and Daniel Gafford routinely and often were able to grant their teams second chance opportunities.

The Thunder prided themselves on their defensive efforts throughout the 2023-24 season, but when they couldn't close out possessions in the postseason by securing a rebound it made a massive difference. Players like Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander often had to go under the basket and attempt to help grab rebounds.

Adding a legitimate seven-footer alongside bigger guards is going to work wonders for the Thunder. They will now be able to effectively close out defensive possessions by securing rebounds with a player like Hartenstein. He averaged over eight boards per game last season in just 25 minutes a night.

It's not just about him grabbing boards but, also, how his physicality and strength will assist his teammates. He is very good at boxing out opponents and allowing free runs for other Thunder players. So whether he's holding off his opponent or contesting the rebound himself, he will provide immense value for OKC with perhaps their biggest weakness.

Hartenstein ranked 28th among centers in rebound percentage, despite only starting 49 games for the Knicks, which is extremely impressive. More notably, he was fourth in offensive rebound percentage, showcasing his elite positioning, physicality, and relentless mindset to fight for any opportunity.

His offensive rebounding prowess was on full display in the Knicks' postseason run, as he finished second in the playoffs for total offensive rebounds. He was repeatedly able to give New York second chances and was a major key for them being able to make a deep run.

Hartenstein brings all of this to a team that desperately needs it, so he will immediately step in and become one of the most important players in the rotation.