Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is a restricted free agent, meaning any offer he gets from another team around the NBA, the Hawks can match the offer to retain Hardaway’s services.
Now Atlanta has a decision to make.
According to ESPN, the New York Knicks signed a four-year, $71 million offer sheet to nab the 25-year-old shooting guard. The Hawks have two days to decide if they’d like to match the offer and keep Hardaway in an Atlanta jersey.
In breakout fashion, Hardaway averaged 14.5 points per game last season as he played in 79 and started 30 games for the Hawks. He enjoyed career highs in field goal percentage (45.5 percent), effective field goal percentage (53.7 percent), rebounds (2.8), assists (2.3) and minutes played (27.3).
There’s reason to believe that the fourth-year veteran could grown more in his fifth season in the NBA.
Without Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard, Atlanta offense should run through Dennis Schroder and Taurean Prince. Hardaway could move up to offensive option No. 3 or 3b to Kent Bazemore.
There’s also the fact that at 25 years old, Hardaway is young enough to still be effective throughout his four-year deal. And his ceiling is even higher than his output from 2016-17.
However, $71 million is a lot of scratch for a player who’s only started 61 games over four seasons and bounced back and forth between the G-League and the NBA as recently as a year ago. Unproven is an understatement.
What should the Hawks do?