Tim Hardaway Jr. got a contract from the New York Knicks for $71 million over 4 years. Will the former Michigan Wolverines star be able to live up to it?
As New York Knicks fans have seen, Tim Hardaway Jr. has been a tireless scorer. He has ramped it up in the past two years, averaging 15.7 points per game. A volume shooter who is shooting 41.3 percent from the field, he’s the second scoring option on the Knicks.
When healthy, Kristaps Porzingis is obviously the leading scorer on this Knicks team.
However, there have been plenty of times when Hardaway has taken the reins as the main scorer during a game. His athleticism and shooting ability make him a very good scorer in this league. His ability to get to the rim with speed and an impressive vertical leads to easy finishes from high-percentage looks.
Hardaway shoots 50.3 percent from inside the three-point line, which is good for a player who averages 7.7 two-pint field goal attempts per game. The 25-year-old shooting guard is also having a career-year in rebounding, averaging 4.0 rebounds per game.
His rebounding average is a rise in 1.2 rebounds per game from 2016, where he averaged his second highest rebound per game rate in his career.
Behind the four point guards on the Knicks roster, Hardaway Jr. averages the most assists on the team with 2.9—another career high.
These numbers may be rising because of his expanded role, but if statistics improve with more minutes, then aren’t the minutes deserved? I believe in the case of Hardaway, they are.
Although Tim Hardaway Jr. has had some great success in recent times, there are some rough patches to his game as well. Specifically, I am concerned with two main pieces of his game. These pieces include defense and shot selection.
Hardaway’s defense hasn’t been very good during his career. I believe this is due to a lack of effort, as well as a lack of energy. Hardaway is an offensive player who focuses all of his effort and intensity on that end of the floor.
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Effort is mental, while energy is physical. Due to him focusing all of his effort on offense, I feel he has no energy left for defense.
This ties into his shot selection. When Hardaway wants to score so bad that he begins to try too hard, he takes bad shots. Most famously: Pull up three-pointers that are low percentage and ill-advised.
He then gets tired due to him trying to score in any way he can, making him play lackluster defense.
Although we’ve all seen Hardaway hit some crazy three-point field goals, he’s not consistent enough to see it happen every game. This is especially true when he’s shooting a career low 31.6 percent from three-point range, attempting 1.8 more per game than any other year in his career.
All things considered, will the deal pan out?
In my opinion, the contract Hardaway was given is quite high, but he’s not excessively overpaid. He’s a very talented player, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Improving his defense and shot selection, Tim Hardaway Jr. can become a great player for the Knicks
The scoring shooting guard will certainly give the New York Knicks their money’s worth if he can improve in those areas.