The NBA rumors were first reported by HoopsHype's Yossi Gozlan. He said the following on the HoopsHype podcast, which also featured Michael Scotto:
"Another guy who came up is a center, Isaiah Hartenstein. He’s drawn interest from Portland. Another team that’s in the mix for him is the Clippers, I’m told."
The LA Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers are close to finalizing their rosters for the 2021-22 NBA season. Both teams need to add more depth to their frontcourt and could be making moves over the next few days.
NBA Rumors: How does Isaiah Hartenstein help either LA Clippers or Portland Trail Blazers?
Isaiah Hartenstein experienced the best stretch of his NBA career with the Cavaliers last season. He joined them midway through the campaign, playing 16 games and averaging 8.3 points, six rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 blocks per contest in 18 minutes of game time.
That stint with the Cavs showed there is huge potential for Isaiah Hartenstein in the NBA. As per NBA rumors, the Brooklyn Nets were also one of the teams interested in his services.
As far as the LA Clippers go, Isaiah Hartenstein will likely be a third-string option at the five for the team. The likes of Serge Ibaka and Ivica Zubac are likely to be their primary options. The former will be returning from back surgery next season. So Ty Lue might need another backup center at his disposal.
Last season, the LA Clippers relied on DeMarcus Cousins to fill that role, but there has been no indication of them looking to re-sign him. Hartenstein would make a lot of sense here as he won't be that expensive of a signing and would also provide some youthful energy to the team.
The Portland Trail Blazers, meanwhile, have somewhat of the same problem with their big-man rotation. Both Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller were injury-prone last season. Considering that, it may be necessary for them to add a third big to their roster in case Nurkic or Zeller go down with an injury.
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Isaiah Hartenstein won't be the primary option for the LA Clippers or Portland Trail Blazers. But if his numbers with the Cavs are anything to go by, there aren't many players better than him available on the market to play as a third option at the five.
He fills a roster need for both teams, making it a sensible proposition for them to make a push to sign him.