Knicks Trade Rumors: Pros and cons of trading Tim Hardaway Jr.

New York Knicks Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
new york knicks
New York Knicks Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks reportedly have Tim Hardaway Jr. on the trade block. What are the pros and cons of potentially moving him before the trade deadline?

The 2018-19 New York Knicks likely don’t have a future together past season’s end. Frankly, something may give before the Feb. 7 NBA Trade Deadline, with a handful of players available to move.

Tim Hardaway Jr. was part of that trio. He’s owed money through 2020-21 and is the Knicks leading scorer, but that seemingly won’t thwart the front office from shopping their marquee signing in the 2017 offseason.

With any player potentially on the move, there are pros and cons to it happening. The impact varies, as a trade can benefit the Knicks in one aspect but deter them in another.

Where could that leave New York after a Hardaway transaction? Let’s take a look:

Pro: Contract does not match production

The New York Knicks paid Hardaway handsomely in 2017, handing him a four-year, $71 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent. Eye-opening at the time, he had 14.5 points with the Atlanta Hawks in 2016-17 and just 6.4 points the season before.

While a young player, the money seemed high for a streaky shooter that profiled as a sixth man than someone earning top-of-the-roster, starter money.

One-and-a-half years into the deal, Hardaway has averaged 18.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists on 40.8 percent shooting and 33.4 percent on three-pointers. Not horrible numbers, but also inflated on back-to-back poor teams that he had to assume a greater role than expected on.

The contract will finish with the following:

  • 2018-19: $17.32 million
  • 2019-20: $18.15 million
  • 2020-21: $18.97 million (player option)

As Hardaway shoots 39.2 percent entering Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, the numbers veer from what he makes. He’s the 63rd highest-paid player, but owns a higher salary than Gary Harris, Eric Bledsoe, Tobias Harris, Khris Middleton and Kemba Walker, to name a few.

If Hardaway made $5-to-6 million fewer, this contract does not look as expensive for the production. That’s, of course, not the case, and the Knicks can use that money elsewhere.