News broke late last night that may have had many Hawks fans struggling to sleep. Tim Hardaway Jr. agreed to a 4-year/$71 million offer sheet with his former team. Two years ago the Hawks sent a first-round pick to the Knicks in exchange for Hardaway. It definitely does not look good for Atlanta if they let him waltz right back to New York as a restricted free agent, but considering the current direction of the team, they may not have much of a choice.
The Hawks can match any offer for Hardaway. That was the initial plan. However, a contract north of $70 million dollars will certainly have Atlanta second guessing.
The Hawks have planned on matching Tim Hardaway Jr.'s offer sheets, & here comes test: 4 yrs, $71 million offer sheet signed w/ NY. ESPN 1st
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 7, 2017
By letting Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard walk, the Hawks have created plenty of financial flexibility moving forward. Something that was eluding them because of bad contracts like Kent Bazemore on the books. Locking up Hardaway Jr. would severely limit that capability. With that in mind, the Hawks are going to have to decide if the second half of last season was Hardaway’s ceiling or just a sign of his untapped potential.
The Braves had an eventful night of their own as they kicked off their final series before the All-Star break. Following a three hour rain delay where there was no rain (Yes, you read that right), Mike Foltynewicz and Gio Gonzalez finally took the mound.
The last time we saw Folty, he was losing a no-hit bid in the ninth inning. The fireballer seems to have finally put it all together and was outstanding once again against the Nationals Thursday night. He pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs, striking out five and most importantly got the victory against our foes from Washington.
And for the first time in eleven games, the Atlanta bats put up more than four runs. Freddie Freeman knocked in a pair of runs with two doubles in his third game back from his extended hiatus with a wrist injury. His second double was his 1,000th hit of his career. Kurt Suzuki also continued his hot hitting with two hits, including a towering home run over the left field wall.
With a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the 7th, Atlanta turned to their bullpen which has been shaky of late. They had no problem Friday morning, though, throwing three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
The Braves now sit 8.5 games behind the Nationals for first place in the NL East. It is imperative they continue to make up some of that ground in these next three games before the break.
Midfielder Miguel Almiron and Defender Greg Garza were both voted onto the 2017 MLS All Star team. The All Star game, which will take place on August 2nd at Soldier field in Chicago, will feature the best of the MLS vs the Champions League winners, Real Madrid.