For the love of god Atlanta match that offer.— NYKnicksPodcast (@NYKnicksPodcast) July 7, 2017
I keep telling myself that if the Falcons can blow a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, the Hawks can match a $71 million deal to Tim Hardaway Jr.— Clem (@TheClemReport) July 7, 2017
Our only hope is ATL's entire management actually dies laughing at the offer sheet, and a Philips Arena janitor accidentally signs it.— Questionable to return (@AndyGlockner) July 7, 2017
In fairness, Hardaway, 25, showed last season that he might be developing into an elite offensive player. Still, he averaged just 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.3 minutes, and $71 million seems like a lot to pay for those kind of numbers, especially for a player known as defensive liability.
The Hawks “were thinking something in the neighborhood of $45 [million] for Hardaway,” ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz tweeted. “This latest act of Knickery should make the call easier.”
Adding to the degree of ridicule with which the reported offer was met was the expensive way the Knicks came full circle with Hardaway. New York drafted him 24th overall in 2013, only to trade him to the Hawks during the 2015 draft for Jerian Grant, only to package Grant and Robin Lopez in a 2016 trade with the Bulls for Derrick Rose, only to renounce Rose’s rights Thursday to create salary-cap room to sign Hardaway.
Hey, at least the effect may have been to send Hardaway off for a couple of years to a place where he could get some good coaching in a stable environment, right?
Tim Hardaway Jr ➡️ Jerian Grant— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 7, 2017
Jerian Grant ➡️ Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose ➡️ Tim H$rd$w$y Jr
What's the opposite of #TrustTheProcess? https://t.co/QD1EcapnRD
The offer was presumably the brainchild of Knicks General Manager Steve Mills, who is running the show while the team looks for a new president. It remains to be seen how thrilled the new team president is with some of the decisions made before he or she was able to grab the steering wheel.
If Knicks fans want another silver lining of dubious logic, how about this: At least the contract is lower than the four-year, $72.6 million albatross the team gave Joakim Noah last year. Yeah, that’s probably no consolation at all, but unlike Noah, Hardaway does have youth, and a reasonable expectation of improvement, on his side.
Of course, the Knicks also signed another free agent last year to a four-year deal, coming to terms with Courtney Lee on a contract worth $52 million. That would be the same Courtney Lee who plays Hardaway’s position, shooting guard.
Not surprisingly, the Knicks’ latest move of questionable wisdom had the Internet buzzing.
New York basketball* is back, baby.— Bradford Pearson (@BradfordPearson) July 7, 2017
*soul-crushing, generation-ruining basketball https://t.co/mEJVhdpCgD
Did Mills get confused & pull up Hardaway Sr's basketball reference page before making the offer?— NYKnicksPodcast (@NYKnicksPodcast) July 7, 2017
Knicks have signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year $71 million offer-sheet. pic.twitter.com/vhl9wwr2XW— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) July 7, 2017
The Knicks really just gave Tim Hardaway Jr. an amount of money 29 other teams wouldnt offer him even if the number denomination was in Yen.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) July 7, 2017
I'm waiting for the "In the tradition of such star contracts as Allan Houston, the Knicks tonight signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to an..."— Jason Smith (@howaboutafresca) July 7, 2017
That week when Knicks fans had hope was pretty dope— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) July 7, 2017
Just in case the Hawks are actually thinking of matching the offer, the Knicks reportedly threw in a 15 percent trade kicker and a player option for the fourth year. Now all New York has to do is figure out how to move Carmelo Anthony, he of the no-trade clause in his $124 million contract.