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The New York Knicks are expected to re-sign swingman Josh Hart when he hits unrestricted free agency this summer, according to Marc Stein. While Hart will certainly draw wide-ranging interest, Hart returning to Madison Square Garden is viewed as "inevitable" by decision-makers around the league. 

That's not much of a surprise after the Knicks gave up Cam Reddish and a first-round pick to acquire Hart from the Portland Trail Blazers at the deadline. They did so knowing that he would be a free agent, but also likely with the knowledge that he would be interested in sticking around long-term. On that front, it doesn't hurt that they have Hart's former college teammate, Jalen Brunson on the roster as well. 

When the news broke that the Knicks had added Hart, there was near-unanimous praise for the move. Hart's toughness, versatility and defensive-minded game seemed to make him a perfect fit for a Tom Thibodeau team. Now a few months later, the pairing has been an even better fit than expected. 

Hart averaged 10.2 points, seven rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game down the stretch to help the Knicks secure the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and a return to the postseason. Despite rolling his ankle in Game 1 of the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Hart hit the biggest shot of that game and played a vital role throughout the series to help the Knicks advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. 

As the Knicks take on the Heat in the second round and try to get back to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2000, Hart is once again front and center. Assuming Jimmy Butler returns at some point from his sprained ankle, Hart will be one of the primary defenders against the Heat star. 

Regardless of what happens in this series and the remainder of the postseason, it would be wise for the Knicks to do everything they can to bring back Hart. He is one of the premier complementary players in the league. Likewise, it would make sense for Hart to stick around in a winning situation after he missed the playoffs in the first five seasons of his career.