Two offseasons ago, Atlanta opted to give up their first-round pick to the Knicks for Tim Hardaway Jr.. Hardaway had not had much success in his early years in New York, and many around the league thought the Knicks got quite a bargain.
It’s funny how things come full circle.
It took a little while but Hardaway eventually broke out in his second season with Atlanta. In 79 games last season, he averaged 14.5 points on 45.5% shooting. Those numbers were even better after the all-star break, when he became one of the Hawks best offensive options averaging 17.5 points on 47.1% from the field.
Now Hardaway, a restricted free agent, has reached a deal with his former team.
Story with @Ianbegley: Restricted free agent Tim Hardaway Jr., has signed a 4-year, $71M offer sheet with New York.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 7, 2017
The Hawks have cleared up over $30 million in cap space by trading Dwight Howard and letting Paul Millsap walk. They can easily match the Knicks offer sheet, but at that large of a number, it could hinder the Hawks making a major free agency splash next season. With Kent Bazemore still owed over $50 million dollars, Atlanta might not want to risk their flexibility if they are really trying to rebuild.
Atlanta seemed intent on keeping Hardaway Jr., but the offer seems rather large given the market of comparable players like Dion Waiters, who inked a four-year, $52 million deal with the Heat yesterday. This is no easy decision, and Tim Hardaway Jr. may have already played his last game with Atlanta.
Stay tuned for more updates