Why Tim Hardaway Jr. Will Be A Good Fit With The New York Knicks
At Michigan he wore #10, the same uniform number hid dad wore at UTEP and later the NBA. Tim Hardaway Jr. will have to pick a different number as a pro, because his new team, the New York Knicks, retired #10 (worn by Hall of Famer Walt Frazier) more than 33 years ago. He could wear #5, the same jersey that the elder Hardaway wore as a rookie with Golden State. Some people questioned the pick by the Knicks, because the team has a surplus of shooting guards. However, the selection of Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick in last night's NBA Draft could signal the end of Jr. Smith's time in the Big Apple. Smith, an restrictive free agent, wants a multi-year contract with New York and the Knicks are hesitant to commit big dollars to a guy that disappeared in the playoff series with Indiana.
Hardaway Jr. has plenty of strengths: bloodlines, good size and demeanor, competitive fire, coachability, shooting skills, toughness, work ethic, and defensive presence. His biggest weaknesses are shot selection and passing skills. Those can easily be corrected over his first few years in the NBA. The Knicks get a guy who can play immediately and help them at shooting guard if Smith and Pablo Prigioni leave as free agents. They also welcome a Hardaway to Madison Square Garden, since his dad destroyed the Knicks for years as a star with the rival Miami Heat. I love the pick for the Knicks, and so did the fans last night in the gallery at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.