2021-22 Fantasy Basketball: Isaiah Hartenstein

by Yeon Lee
Fantasy Basketball Isaiah Hartenstein

Welcome back to another Fantasy Basketball Player Spotlight. This week I am writing about Los Angeles Clippers big man Isaiah Hartenstein.

When you talk about Clippers, you think of Paul George carrying the team himself. He's taken all the responsibility on his shoulder to lead the team to the glory without his fellow teammate Kawhi Leonard this season. Yet, he seems tired because of the many roles he's given.

However, when you take a closer look, there are some interesting players on their roster. One of them is Isaiah Hartenstein, who was drafted and waived by the Houston Rockets and traded to the Denver Nuggets for Javale McGee. He signed with the Clippers this season to play behind Ivica Zubac.

All data comes from NBA.com.

2021-22 Fantasy Basketball: Isaiah Hartenstein

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The Next Time Lord: Isaiah Hartenstein

Even though he's merely a backup center behind Zubac, his per-minute stats are quite impressive. His per-30-minute averages are 13.7 points on 65.3% shooting, 8.8 rebounds, 3.2 dimes, 2.2 blocks, and 1.6 steals.

He has also been quietly getting mentioned for his defensive hustle stats. Look at the ranking below. He's currently leading NBA in contested shots. When it comes to the hustle stats, he's worth a mention in every category. You can easily find him on page 1.

His effort isn't reflected in Fantasy stats, but it certainly helps him get more playing time.

He's Got A Floater

Let's see what kind of player he is. The below chart is his split stats on shooting. His main weapon seems to be a floater. His favorite go-to move is to pick and slip on the top.

He slips to the rim and stops in the middle of the zone to throw a floater before defenders set in position. His floater field goal percentage tells us how effective his go-to move is.

SHOT TYPE DETAILFGMFGAFG%EFG%FGMFGM
%AST%UAST
Floating Jump shot2130707095.24.8
Tip Layup Shot81553.353.30100
Layup Shot71258.358.385.714.3
Cutting Layup Shot81172.772.71000
Alley Oop Dunk Shot771001001000
Cutting Dunk Shot771001001000
Jump Shot365066.766.733.3
Putback Layup Shot3650500100
Driving Floating Jump Shot2450500100

High Post Play

Since he's European, he prefers high post play to physical rim attack. He doesn't possess flamboyant passing skills like Nicola Jokic, but his passing from the top is solid and effective enough to consider him an important piece on their offensive half-court set.

His 1.41 PPP as a pick & roll man is currently ranked 9th in the NBA. Given that he's a backup big man, his production is compelling.

Conclusion: ROS Fantasy Outlook

The clippers' starting big man is Ivica Zubac at this point. Zubac has been solid putting up 10 points, 8 rebounds on average, but RAPTOR thinks Isaiah Hartenstein is way better than him. He's been produced 0.9 WAR for 700 minutes, but Hartenstein's 2.2 WAR is tied to Joel Embiid, which is ranked 8th in the center position. Clippers are not going to take Zubac out of the starting lineup right away, but advanced stats tell us that might be the plausible scenario if there is an injury or slump.

What I like about him is his floater. He's got a go-to move, which is an unusual quality in a backup player. Since his outcome from pick & roll is more various than Zubac, and his shooting area is broader, I think he can easily play 20+ minutes going forward.

If you are in a shallow league, you can take a wait-and-see approach until his minutes are confirmed. If you are in a deep league, you can add and wait for him to secure his spot.


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