Why NBA Summer League should be Tim Hardaway Jr.’s time to shine

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

As the Knicks await Carmelo Anthony’s ultimate decision, there are plenty of other question marks surrounding the team’s roster as well. With Phil Jackson hoping to piece some things together in the months that follow, perhaps some of those question marks will be answered at the conclusion of NBA Summer League.

There are plenty of promising young guns for New York to keep an eye on along the way, but perhaps one of the more intriguing prospects out there is someone the Knicks are already quite familiar with: Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr.Whereas players such as Brandon Tiche, Cameron Moore, and even NBA vet Shannon Brown will be among those hoping to secure roster spots for this coming fall, perhaps Hardaway Jr.’s goal will be proving he deserves an even more expanded role next season, as he continues to learn the triangle offense.

Assuming for the moment that Anthony returns, the most wide open position up for grabs in New York’s starting lineup will be shooting guard. With Iman Shumpert coming off an underwhelming year and J.R. Smith’s ever present inconsistencies perhaps suggesting he needs to be set back into a sixth man role, it may be Hardaway Jr.’s time to step up.

Arguably the Knicks’ most consistent two-guard last season, Hardaway Jr. played quite well throughout his rookie campaign. Finishing with an average of 10.2 points, on 43% from the field and 36% from deep, there’s no doubt the young gun can fill it up with ease. He likes to pour in the points, and carries himself with a refreshing and bold confidence. He has a certain swagger, not known to many players at this point in their respective careers.

Also proving to be somewhat of a liability on defense last season, it’s clear that the rookie has plenty to learn about defensive tendencies in the NBA. Still, perhaps the pros outweigh the cons with Hardaway Jr, even at this point in time. He may be a better option than some of the other alternatives available for the Knicks to turn to.

As a first-year player, Hardaway Jr. displayed flashes of brilliance en route to proving he could hold his own with some of the league’s more talented players. Staying afloat is a more than respectable feat for a rookie. He played a supporting role, and did so quite well.

But NBA Summer League is a different animal. Not longer a supporting cast member, Hardaway Jr. should rise up as a star. One of the few current Knickerbockers on the Las Vegas squad, perhaps he’ll even need to emerge as a leader of sorts. This stage presents the guard with a huge opportunity. He should be able to stand tall as a man amongst boys.

Whether his time in Sin City is simply a chance for Hardaway Jr. to prove something to the Knicks, or if they’ll use this opportunity to put him on display for other teams (in hopes of pairing him up in a trade with one of the team’s larger contracts), remains to be seen. Nevertheless, this is the youngster’s time to shine either way.




72 comments
jax13
jax13

Good thing riles got him nappier, mcroberts n granger

tronvin
tronvin

I like how LBJ chose SI instead of the shady ESPN for his announcement. 

jax13
jax13

Man. So is it now...

1. Pacers

2. Cavs

3. Bulls

4. Wizards

5. Raps

6. Nets

7. Hawks

8. Hornets

Where are we?

brookdon
brookdon

Wiggins is gone BTW. Read the article twice and Lebron never mentioned him once.

dylan
dylan

Do you think Miami would trade Bosh for Amar'e and Hardaway? I think we can make sign and trades if it gets us below the apron.

tkb2pac
tkb2pac

bargnini should go home to italy

tkb2pac
tkb2pac

melo should go home to new york

jax13
jax13

Heat fans will be fine because they were never real fans anyhow

tkb2pac
tkb2pac

wade should go home to chicago

saintknick
saintknick

So ESPN Hires Windhorst just to wash Lebrons balls, Broussard tweets non stop nonsense...


and SI gets the scoop.


I absolutely love it.

dylan
dylan

Phil should be on the phone with Miami offering Amar'e and Bargnani. I believe the cap floor is $57 mil, and they are going to have a ton of space. 

brookdon
brookdon

So Chris Sheridan is now up there with Woj for most reliable sources

knickstape
knickstape

good thing i hung on to my LBJ cars jersey

brookdon
brookdon

@ESPNSteinLine: Source close to situation says Rockets believe they will have commitment "soon" for Chris Bosh to come to Houston

John Michael Michael
John Michael Michael

"I know my kingdom awaits and they've forgiven my mistakes...I'm coming home"


More fitting for Lebron eh?

bblessed
bblessed

I hated him when he went to Miami... But damn.. I respect that he went home and how he did it this time. He showed me that there's a reason he is where he is in life.

dylan
dylan

LeBron's article was honestly great. As awful as the decision was in 2010, this was a pretty classy move. The NBA is going to be a lot better without the big 3 in Miami.

saintknick
saintknick

OK - NOW THAT WE ARE a few seconds past his decision, I want to point something out for conspiracy lovers to hang on to.


He mentions Kyrie, Andy, Tristan, Dion all by name. He makes NO MENTION AT ALL of Wiggins.


read into that what you will. 

saintknick
saintknick

Great read - people will nitpick, but it read totally honest. 


He didn't excuse Gilbert, but he forgives him. He excused the jersey burnings and hate because he'd feel that way in their shoes. 


He wants to build something in his home town, etc. etc. Excellent way of doing this too - no press, not interview, no party. Just a letter to the fans.

dullah2
dullah2

After that... Melo HAS to stay... That was actually an AWESOME speech/letter...

RadioRah
RadioRah

About dam time!!! Let's end this please. Melo come home

Daniel Nguyen
Daniel Nguyen

"I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. " - Lebron from SI 


Humble underpromise, it was a great read guys. Honest and concise writing.

1harris1
1harris1

@jax13  LMAO!  Padre Riles is in hiding right now.

dylan
dylan

I don't he even considered ESPN after the 2010 decision.

saintknick
saintknick

@jax13


Nah, depends on the rest of FA, but...


1) Cavs

2) Bulls

3) Pacers

4) Wizards

5) Raptors

6) Hawks


although with a couple fa moves any of that changes. If Rose is healthy, bulls #1, if he's totally ruined, #4. If Atlanta plays healthy and as cohesive as earlier in the season, they could be in the top 4 as well. If D. Will plays better and Brook is healthy, who knows in Brooklyn.



POINT IS - by breaking up the big 3, there are legit 4-5 teams vying for #1-2, and maybe more.

brookdon
brookdon

5 above Toronto. Lowry will return to the mean.

saintknick
saintknick

@brookdon Made that comment earlier - HOWEVER, it could also be that Lebron isn't going to shout out a guy who's never touched an NBA game ball.


Its part of the culture, you don't talk about guys who haven't earned it yet. I read about even Kobe at 18 getting donuts for Byron Scott :D

dylan
dylan

@lobcity He probably gets a max deal with Miami now. Even though Riley would be better off rebuilding. 

jax13
jax13

Or does he think he has a one year window with bulls to get out of east

Bo Beck
Bo Beck

Don't really respect it Wade getting older Bosh is a good player but nothing of significance after that. Or go to Cleveland play with a much younger and better PG at the moment and either Wiggins or Love hmmm wonder what my choice would be.

Still running from a real challenge.

saintknick
saintknick

@Gee Daniels I wouldn't be shocked actually. He may not want to compete with Lebron, and perhaps the classiest way is to just announce now - most of the country will forget he even opted out.

dylan
dylan

@Daniel Nguyen I was just about to post that part of the article. Very interesting. LeBron definitely seems very committed to making it work in Cleveland.

Daniel Nguyen
Daniel Nguyen

@Gee Daniels It was a good read, super humble and honest. Short and only a few paragraphs.

rico
rico

@1harris1 hey it got him 2 more rings, 4 trips to the dance and 2 "executive of the year" awards.  


not a bad run for riles. 


nothing lasts forever

jax13
jax13

Yea my order is not good but you are right

dylan
dylan

@Knicks_Fanatic @dylan This is what it says in the CBA. So we could potentially work out a sign and trade, as long as we dump enough salary to get under the apron.


  • Starting in 2013-14, the team receiving the player cannot be above the "apron" ($4 million above the tax level) after the trade1, 2. A team above the apron can receive a player in a sign-and-trade if the trade reduces the team's payroll and the team finishes the trade below the apron.

Bo Beck
Bo Beck

Oh and let's not forget 3 1st rd picks. It really is a no brainer if you ask me. I also believe Bosh told him he'd be leaving for Houston which helped his decision.

jax13
jax13

I want melo but who knows what he is thinking, I thought he was waiting on lebron