Tim Hardaway Jr. Reportedly Signs 4-Year, $71M Contract Offer Sheet with Knicks

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Atlanta Hawks celebrates after scoring against the Washington Wizards in the first half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at at Verizon Center on April 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. received an offer sheet from the New York Knicks on Thursday worth $71 million over four years, per Adrian WojnarowskiΒ and Ian Begley of ESPN.

Atlanta has two days to match the contract of the restricted free agent.

Hardaway spent the first two seasons of his career with New York before being traded for the rights to Jerian Grant.

The 25-year-old Michigan product enjoyed a breakout 2016-17 season with the Hawks. He averaged career highs in points (14.5), rebounds (2.8), assists (2.3) and threes (1.9) while shooting 45.5 percent from the field, which was also the best mark of his four-year NBA career.

He had struggled to find a niche in the Atlanta rotation during his first season with the team. But a more expansive role this past year, including 30 starts among his 79 appearances, led to his best season.

Brad Rowland‏ of Peachtree Hoops felt Hardaway was among the league's most improved players:

Brad Rowland @BTRowland

Tim Hardaway Jr. won't (and shouldn't) win Most Improved Player but he's probably a top-10 candidate.

While his uptick in performance helped the Hawks secure the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 43-39 record, it also brought him onto the radar for an offer sheet. Now the front office must decide whether to make the financial commitment after one big year and one down year.

In May, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution passed along comments from Hardaway, who expressed interest in staying with the organization.

"I want to be here, point blank," he said. "They brought me here because they believed in me and believed in what I'm capable of doing. I'm thankful for it. ... As of now, I'm still here. This is my team. I'm an Atlanta Hawk still. There is no other team right now. My mind and my focus is with the Atlanta Hawks."

The impact Hardaway made last season is what many envisioned when the Knicks took him in the first round of the 2013 draft. Over the next couple of days, the Hawks will have to determine whether they believe he can build off that success to justify matching New York's offer sheet.


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