10 Impending NBA free agents who could earn a payday down the stretch

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25 (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25 (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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With the 2023 NBA Playoffs on the horizon, teams are currently gearing up for a stretch run as they look to make a run at a title.

This is the time of year when impending free agents have an opportunity to earn themselves a raise in the off-season. Two examples from last season were Jalen Brunson and Gary Payton II, who both got lucrative contracts in the offseason after impressive showings for their respective teams down the stretch, especially in the playoffs. This season should be no different, as several players have the potential to cash in on a raise if they continue playing well. With that said, here are 10 upcoming NBA free agents who fit the mold.

1. Josh Hart, New York Knicks

Josh Hart has been a significant contributor since the New York Knicks acquired him in a trade at the deadline. The Knicks have gone 9-2 since the acquisition, and although all of that success cannot be attributed to Hart’s arrival, there is no doubt that he has given this team a much-needed spark off of the bench over this stretch.

Over his last 10 games, Hart has averaged 11 points while shooting 62.3 percent from the floor, including a blistering 62.5 percent from three. He’s been stuffing the stat sheet elsewhere with an impressive stat line of 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. The two guard has been a Swiss army knife for the Knicks, and he could be a difference-maker if the Knicks make a postseason run.

Hart has a $13 million player option for next season, which he is expected to decline, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. However, Scotto did add that Hart loves his fit in New York and that the team is expected to try and re-sign him. The Knicks would give Hart a new contract right now if the season ended today, but the guard could earn himself a bigger deal if he continues to play this well as the team looks to end their season with fireworks.