The Hawks will not match the Knicks' four-year, $71 million offer sheet, ESPN reported Saturday, although Atlanta had not yet given official notification. So it's not all that shocking they're about to overpay for Hardaway Jr. The former MI standout had a breakout season in Atlanta which prompted the high offer sheet. Hardaway, 25, was originally drafted by the Knicks 24th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.
The Knicks have made many baffling personnel moves in the past decade-plus. The elder Hardaway was a heck of a player during his time and averaged 17.7 points per game during his career. Hardaway Jr., on the other hand, scored a career-high 14.5 points per game in 2016-2017.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard has turned into a really solid player this past year. But the absurd contract, which includes a player option and trade kicker sweeteners, is not what the Hawks wanted to invest in as they move forward. That means if the Knicks were to trade him at any point over the next four years, his salary would increase by 15 percent. He was drafted in 2013 with the No. 24 pick overall by NY, but was transacted in 2015 to Atlanta for the rights to Jerian Grant, but the Knicks then packaged Robin Lopez and Grant in a trade throughout 2016 to Chicago for the Bulls' Derrick Rose, only to renounce the rights to Rose on early Thur so salary cap space could be made for Hardaway. NY all but officially has more than one-third of its cap space invested in Hardaway and an injured and suspended Joakim Noah.