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) /
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Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Pro: Sheds cap space for free agency

However, it turns towards the all-important 2019 offseason for the New York Knicks, with a bevy of marquee free agents that likely require top dollar. Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and Jimmy Butler are among the names set for the open market.

As of Jan. 26, the Knicks project for $29 million in cap space. For these seven-to-12 year veterans, that’s not enough for a starting maximum-contract salary.

At $18.15 million in 2018-19, shedding Hardaway’s salary via trade fits this by a mile, and with room to spare for other free agents. Durant could take up to $38 million on a max deal.

If the Knicks can move the 26-year-old before the trade deadline or around the draft, it officially makes them players in free agency. $29 million still allows flexibility, but for players to fill the roster, rather than eyeing that superstar teams covet.

Of course, this hinges on the Knicks not taking any future salary back. That’s a task itself, as this organization’s future direction is obvious, in rebuilding via the draft and hoping for one of the aforementioned names to sign with them in July.

Trading Hardaway provides New York that ability, but they must find someone interested enough in the sixth-year veteran first.