Fans might recall Isaiah Hartenstein’s brief stint with the Cavs back in 2021. After being traded by the Denver Nuggets for JaVale McGee and future draft picks, Hartenstein finished out the rest of that year in Cleveland playing in 16 games. During that small window of time with the Cavs Hartenstein put up an average of 8.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Now, if some fans don’t remember Hartenstein’s time in Cleveland they are definitely bound to remember when he and Mitchell Robinson took on Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in the playoffs last year. While that series against the New York Knicks left a sour taste in most Cavaliers fans’ mouths, looking at it from an objective point of view – Hartenstein would be an intriguing option for Cleveland to look at in 2024.
Finishing his first year with the Knicks, he averaged 5.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Hartenstein could bring some much desired depth to the center position for Cleveland, and alleviate some of the burden on Jarrett Allen and even Evan Mobley too. Hartenstein could be a key player with the secondary unit.
Isaiah Hartenstein was a player New York could depend on on the defensive side of the ball last year. His per-36 splits minutes show he managed an average of 7.2 defensive rebounds a game, while also getting 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. His contract with the Knicks was set at $16 million for two years.
Given that Hartenstein has routinely played backup minutes behind other centers, he should be an affordable target for Cleveland to keep their eyes on in 2024.