Cha-ching! The New York Knicks have given Tim Hardaway Jr. 71 million reasons to rejoin them, offering the son of an NBA All-Star a massive contract! While he decides his fate, get to know all about this young baller.
1. He is the son of an NBA legend. The 2017 NBA off-season continues to be totally outrageous, as teams have shelled out millions of dollars to recruit some of the hottest players in the game. The latest mega-deal to go down has the New York Knicks signing Tim Hardaway Jr., 25, to a four-year offer sheet worth $71 million, reports ESPN. Tim’s current team, the Atlanta Hawks, now has two days to match the offer. If they don’t, it looks like Tim Jr. is headed north. Thankfully, his new contract means he can afford movers and he won’t have to ask his dad, 5-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, 50, to help pack up his stuff. Yes, Tim Jr. is a second-generation superstar, as his dad played six seasons with the Golden State Warriors before spending six years with the Miami Heat.
2. Tim Jr. has played for the Knicks before. If the Hawks can’t match the Knicks offer, then you might as well dub Tim “Spider-Man,” because this would be a “homecoming.” He actually played two seasons in New York, joining the Knicks in 2013 after three years at the University of Michigan. He “thrived offensively” during his rookie and sophomore season, according to ESPN, averaging 10.2 and 11.5 points per game, respectively. However, he had troubles playing defense, and the Knicks ultimately traded him to the Hawks in 2015 for the draft rights of Jerian Grant, 24.
3. He found success in Atlanta – after a stint in the minor leagues. While Tim performed well in the 2015 preseason games, the Hawks didn’t debut with the team until a Nov. 2105 game against the Boston Celtics. Atlanta would actually send Tim down to the D-League, first with the Canton Charge, then to the Austin Spurs. This tenure in the NBA minor leagues seemed to help him work out the kinks. He begun to flourish with the Hawks, and he finished his second season in Atlanta with 14.5 points per game.
4. Tim was tight with Carmelo Anthony. Perhaps the Knicks decision to lure back Hardaway is part of their way to keep Carmelo Anthony, 33, in New York. The Knicks fired Phil Jackson, 71, on June 28, and the ex-Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers coach has a notoriously poor relationship with Melo. With Melo being courted by teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers, Knicks’ GM Steve Mills, 57, might have made this offer to please Melo. Though Melo and Tim once nearly came to blows, according to the New York Daily News, Carmelo was reportedly upset that Phil traded away Tim Jr. to Atlanta.
5. He was pretty much ride or die for the Hawks. “I want to be here [with the Hawks], point blank,” Tim reportedly in May 2017, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (per Bleacher Report). “They brought me here because they believed in me and believed in what I’m capable of doing. I’m thankful for it. … As of now, I’m still here. This is my team. I’m an Atlanta Hawk still. There is no other team right now.” Well, the Knicks have given Tim Jr. 71 reasons to change his mind, especially if Atlanta doesn’t match the offer.
Do you think the Knicks will be a monster team next season, HollywoodLifers?