New York Signs Hardaway Jr (to an Offer Sheet) for $71M/4 Years

A number of news outlets are reporting that:

Restricted Atlanta Hawks free agent Tim Hardaway Jr. has signed a four-year, $71 million offer sheet with the New York Knicks, league sources told ESPN.

Hardaway, a 25-year-old shooting guard, has spent the past two seasons in Atlanta after spending his first two in New York.

The Hawks will have two days to match the offer. which contains a 15 percent trade kicker and a player option in the fourth year, per ESPN sources.

Tim Hardaway Jr. isn’t an awful player (see: Waiters, Dion). He’s an efficient scorer (56.8% ts%, 19.1 pts/36 last year) and is only 25 years old, so the Knicks would presumably get his best years. Hardaway also has good assist and turnover numbers as well (3.0 ast/36, 1.8 to/36). According to 82games, Hardaway appears to be a neutral defender (-0.4 pts/100).

I don’t hate this deal because Hardaway will likely keep some value during the life of his contract, unlike Joakim Noah or even Carmelo Anthony. The next Knicks GM should be able to get something in return for Hardaway, and not have to look for a place to unload his contract. [EDIT: Reports are that the contract has a 15% trade kicker, so *le sigh*.]

But there’s plenty to dislike about the signing. Shooting guard is a position the Knicks don’t really need. New York already has Courtney Lee and promising rookie Damyean Dotson. In fact the Knicks have more immediate critical needs at PG and SF (and if they trade ‘Melo, PF). If the front office wanted to put a stronger team on the floor in 2017, Tim Hardaway Jr. won’t make as much of an impact. He’s not a huge upgrade over Courtney Lee. Additionally he stunts the growth of Dotson, who unless Lee is moved, won’t see many minutes at MSG.

And while the Knicks are only slightly overpaying Hardaway (he most likely would have gotten $12M – $15M on the market), it’s not the right time for them to commit so much money. New York would be smarter to go with a cheaper option (Justin Holiday), build around their young core of players (Porzingis, Hernangomez, Ntilikina, Dotson, Kuzminskas), and save that money for a top notch free agent that can integrate with what develops from their young talent.

The problem with this acquisition is that is smacks of nearsightedness. It’s the same tactic that over the last 17 years has doomed the team. The Knicks are not in a position for a quick fix. They are not a score-first shooting guard away from competing with Cleveland or Boston (or even Washington or Toronto). Deals like this might take them from 31 wins to 35 wins or even 40 wins. But by aiming for that mark, they’ll always miss the opportunity to build a 50 or 60 win team. And more often than not, with splashy moves like this they’ll fail to reach even their meager short term goals.

Signing Hardaway for 4 years at $18M per year isn’t awful in a vacuum, but the 2017 New York Knicks are not the right context for this deal.

Knicks Morning News (2017.07.07)

  • [NYPost] Tim Hardaway Jr. signs 4-year, $71M offer sheet with Knicks
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 7:37:53 PM)

    In a move that undid one of ousted president Phil Jackson’s shakier moves, former Knicks first-round pick Tim Hardaway Jr. has signed a four-year, $71 million offer sheet with the Knicks, agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed to The Post on Thursday night. The rebuilding Hawks, who got Hardaway to play defense, have the chance to match,…

  • [NYPost] The soul-crushing misery of the Knicks fan
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 3:04:04 PM)

    ‘If it’s a boy, let’s name him Kristaps,” I half-joked to my pregnant wife. “What if the Knicks trade him?” she asked. “They would never do that,” I assured her. They would never do that. As a lifelong Knicks fan, the last 12 months have been a whirlwind. Coming off yet another disappointing season last…

  • [NYPost] Damyean Dotson seizing opportunity with barren Knicks backcourt
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 10:55:06 AM)

    At least there was one shred of good news for the Knicks out of Orlando. With Justin Holiday allowed to rejoin the Bulls, Dion Waiters re-signing with the Heat and the Knicks still dormant in free agency, the door has swung wide open for second-round draft pick Damyean Dotson to inherit the backup shooting guard…

  • [NYTimes] Knicks Are Near a Reunion With Tim Hardaway Jr.
    (Friday, July 07, 2017 4:56:56 AM)

    The restricted free agent signed a four-year, $71 million offer sheet on Thursday with the team that drafted him in 2013.

  • [NYTimes] After ‘Difficult’ Decision to Trade Paul George, Pacers Start Rebuilding
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 11:34:58 PM)

    The deal, in which Indiana sent George, a four-time All-Star, to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, became official on Thursday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks, Tim Hardaway Jr. agree on four-year, $71M offer sheet
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 11:10:50 PM)

    Restricted Free Agent Tim Hardaway, Jr. of the Atlanta Hawks has agreed on a four-year, $71 million offer sheet with the Knicks, according to sources at ESPN.

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Has New York become undesirable for NBA free agents?
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 6:46:21 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks have 150/1 odds to win 2018 NBA title
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 12:10:01 PM)

    The Knicks current odds to win the 2018 NBA championship is set at 150/1, per Bovada LV.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks interested in trading for Celtics’ Marcus Smart
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 8:57:50 AM)

    The Knicks have shown interest in trading for Celtics’ G Marcus Smart, per NY Post’s Marc Berman.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks have spoken with free agent PG Rajon Rondo
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 9:00:13 AM)

    Rondo is reportedly also drawing interest from the Lakers.

  • [NYDN] Knicks sign Tim Hardaway Jr. to 4-year, $71 million offer sheet
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 9:35:33 PM)

    The Knicks are trying to reunite with Tim Hardaway Jr.

  • [NYDN] Knicks talking deal with Dotson after impressive summer league
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 9:34:47 PM)

    Following the impressive Summer League for Damyean Dotson, the Knicks have started discussions on a deal with the 23-year-old wing.

  • [NYDN] VIDEO: Porzingis pet by floating honey-soaked arm in commercial
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 1:42:38 PM)

    Honestly after watching this advertisement, maybe the Knicks should reconsider trading Kristaps Porzingis.

  • [ESPN] Tim Hardaway Jr.’s offer sheet leaves Knicks with few options
    (Friday, July 07, 2017 2:29:43 AM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr.’s offer sheet leaves Knicks with few options

  • [ESPN] Sources: Hardaway inks NYK’s $71M offer sheet
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 11:17:20 PM)

    Sources: Hardaway inks NYK’s $71M offer sheet

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks sign Tim Hardaway Jr. to four-year, $71-million offer sheet
    (Friday, July 07, 2017 12:56:24 AM)

    After being quiet for the first five-plus days of free agency, the Knicks went all-in on bringing back a player from their recent past.

  • [NY Newsday] Marcus Smart on Knicks’ radar, according to a league source
    (Thursday, July 06, 2017 8:55:00 PM)

    The Knicks have expressed interest in acquiring Celtics guard Marcus Smart, according to a league source.