The New York Knicks signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71 million offer sheet in restricted free agency that they thought the Atlanta Hawks might match. The contract was largely considered excessive when it was announced in July.
“There was that concern,” Jeff Hornacek said of the potential the Hawks would make a matching offer. “Tim had started to turn the corner in terms of being a great player. He finished last season having a very, very good second half. We knew that was the beginning. I don’t think there was concern bringing him back. (Steve) Mills did a great job of figuring out how to get him and what it might take. There was concern Atlanta might match it. When they didn’t, we were very happy.”
Hardaway’s scoring average is up to 18.4 points per game, while also averaging 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
The Knicks like having Hardaway and Courtney Lee on the wings.
“They’re both two-way players,” Hornacek said. “There’s a lot of talk Tim stepped up his defense since his rookie year. In Atlanta, they forced him to play defense. He’s doing a great job of that. Both guys feel comfortable. Tim at the 3 is undersized, but those two guys give us weapons on both sides of the floor.’’