Tim Hardaway Jr.
averaged 12.2 points and 4.5 rebounds at Michigan last season. (Andrew Hancock/SI)
The Knicks selected Tim Hardaway Jr. with the No. 24 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here's a look at Hardaway and how he fits with New York:
Bio: Michigan | Junior | Shooting Guard
Vitals: 6-6, 185 pounds
2012-13 Statistics: 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 42.9 percent shooting in 37 games.
Strengths: The Wolverines' second-leading scorer last season, Hardaway has the skills you want from an NBA 2-guard. He can stretch the floor with his shot, he's a solid decision-maker and he's a hard worker who takes pride in both his offense and defense. The son of a former All-Star, Hardaway should have no problem making the jump from college to the pros.
Weaknesses: Hardaway has solid size for a shooting guard but will have to add weight to compete night-in, night-out at the next level. Consistency was an issue for Hardaway at Michigan, especially when it came to his jumper. He'll have to iron that out if he hopes to earn a solid rotation spot.
What Scouts Say: "He has shown improvement because he's an extremely hard worker. Defensively he's just average. He's a better athlete than Bullock. If I'm picking late teens or early 20s and he's available, I would take him. His problem is the position he plays at the next level is really hard."
The Knicks struggled in the postseason due to their lack of dynamism on the perimeter, and unfortunately Hardaway isn't effective enough off the dribble to really help in that regard. He's a nice scorer still, and there's a lot to like in the foundation of Hardaway's game (movement, mechanics, physical frame). But expectations need be tempered despite Hardaway's reputation as a big-name player from a big-name school. He's clearly better suited for a role as a complementary shooter and scorer. That in itself will be of value to a Knicks team that could be looking to replace some of the production of J.R. Smith
(an unrestricted free agent, who will test the market), but there are enough gaps in Hardaway's game to understand why he fell so far and why he might only be of marginal value to New York.