The Future Does Not Look Bright for Tim Hardaway Jr. in the Hawks


Remember Tim Hardaway Jr. guys?

Neither does the Atlanta Hawks, who have him stashed on the bench all season long. Hardaway Jr. has so far played a grand total of 44 minutes in four games this season.

Hardaway Jr. was traded for Jerian Grant on draft night, and it looks like Mike Budenholzer and Atlanta has discovered what New York knew all along about the 6’6″ shooting guard; that he is a no-defense chucker.

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Last season Hardaway Jr. was the 72nd ranked player in defensive RPM for a shooting guard72nd! This came from someone who started 30 games for New York last season… With the promotion to the starting lineup, Hardaway Jr. saw his shooting percentage dip… going from 42.8% (not great as it is…) in his rookie campaign to a sub-40, 38.9% shooting… Those percentages are not good for anyone… let alone someone playing the SHOOTING guard position….

After the blowout victory for the Hawks Saturday night, the former-Knick Hardaway Jr. told the New York Post that he wished he could have stayed with New York but now he just has to move on.

"“Everybody wants to stay with the team they got drafted with. A lot of times, it doesn’t work that way. You got to move on and build a new legacy somewhere else. The passion you bring, you have to take to that team you’re with.”"

Despite playing only 44 minutes in the entire season, Hardaway Jr. still believes that Atlanta has a plan for him.

"“They brought me here for a reason. They know what I can do. I’m here for a reason.’’"

It is nice that Hardaway Jr. feels that Atlanta still has plans for him, but it does not bold well for the former-Knick that Atlanta went with rookie Lamar Patterson at shooting guard off the bench Saturday night. The New Jersey native played extremely well off Dennis Schroder pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop plays in the second unit, finishing the game with 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in 15 minutes of play.

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Patterson was drafted 48th overall by the Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft, after Atlanta acquired the pick from the Milwaukee Bucks. Patterson last season played with Tofaş Bursa of the Turkish Basketball League, returning to the states and signing a deal with the Hawks this summer. It will be interesting to see how Atlanta allocate minutes in their shooting guard position going forward, but for now it does not look good for Hardaway Jr….

Budenholzer though is impressed with what Hardaway Jr. is doing to get himself minutes on the court, saying that he is working hard to improve his game.

"“He’s been very good, very impressed, very pleased with his work behind the scenes that nobody sees, working on in the weight room, conditioning, shooting, everything,’’“I can promise you he’s doing well and in a good place. His approach to it has been very professional. There’s a real emphasis here on player development. We’ve seen guys come in, not start out as gangbusters. Through work and effort, they find a way. I would say he’s following that path.’’"

Next: Carmelo Anthony Calls Out Knicks After Hawks Loss

One thing is certain as a Knicks’ fan, thank goodness New York got rid of Hardaway Jr. Now he is Atlanta’s problem.