Jerian Grant

Associated Press

Tim Hardaway Jr. ready for 2nd chance in New York with Knicks


NEW YORK (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr. thought that with Phil Jackson gone, maybe there was a chance someday he could come back to New York.

Even he was surprised it was this soon.

With Jackson and his triangle offense gone, the Knicks reached back to their past to sign Hardaway, a former first-round pick who didn’t fit under Jackson but they hope can flourish without him.

“I definitely left with a bad taste in my mouth and just to have that opportunity to come back here is very rare, so you’ve got to make the most of that,” Hardaway said Monday.

Jackson and the Knicks parted ways last month after three dismal seasons and were quiet at the start of free agency until signing Hardaway to an offer sheet for a four-year, $71 contract. When the Atlanta Hawks decided not to match the offer for the restricted free agent, Hardaway was officially a Knick again on Saturday.

“You play here for two years and then you’re gone and then two years after you get a phone call and it’s like, `Wow, I wouldn’t expect it coming from them,”‘ Hardaway said.

The 6-foot-6 guard was the No. 24 pick in the 2013 draft after helping Michigan reach the NCAA championship game and was voted to the All-Rookie first team. Jackson was hired as team president late in that season, fired coach Mike Woodson and hired Derek Fisher to replace him and implement the triangle.

Hardaway shot just 39 percent in 2014-15 as the Knicks stumbled to a franchise-worst 17-65 finish, and Jackson dealt Hardaway to Atlanta in a three-team deal on draft night for the rights to first-round pick Jerian Grant.

“It was a tough season for everybody on that team and they had to make changes. At the end of the day it’s a business and the goal is to make your team better,” Hardaway said. “They had a decision to make, they made it and I rolled with it, and I was grateful that a team like Atlanta really wanted me to be a part of their franchise.”

It was rocky at first in Atlanta, where Hardaway was sent to the NBA Development League during his first season. But he averaged a career-best 14.5 points last season and the Knicks noticed, making an offer that not only was too much for the Hawks to match but seemed too high for a player who has never started more than 30 games.

“I really don’t know what to say about it. All I know is I’m going to come in here and work my tail off,” Hardaway said. “I’m going to give the fans what they want to see and I’m a mature player now. Everything is in full effect right now. I’m taking everything very serious.”

His role on the Knicks is unknown, as neither general manager Steve Mills nor coach Jeff Hornacek attended Hardaway’s reintroduction to the local media. Also unclear is how the roster around him will look as the Knicks seek a deal for Carmelo Anthony, whose locker was next to Hardaway’s in New York.

“I mean it’s an odd feeling, but Melo’s got to do what’s best for his family and for him,” Hardaway said. “Yes, we definitely want him back, no question, and just having that veteran leader out there on the floor, a go-to guy that can get you a bucket at any given moment of the game, it’s great. It’s great to have that, you want to have that, and it’ll be tough for him to leave, but like I said, he has to do what’s best for him and his family.”

There may be no Anthony, but there certainly won’t be Jackson or the triangle, and that should mean a better Hardaway than the one who left.

“I think I can really excel in this type of offense, rather than when I was in my second year in the league,” he said. “But that was learning a new offense, learning a new system and that staff, they didn’t draft me, so it was different. I can see this being more like my rookie type of season but being more mature, being able to take bigger strides and bigger steps on both ends of the floor.”


Report: Hawks will not match Knicks’ ridiculous $71 million Tim Hardaway Jr. offer sheet


The NBA seemed to have sobered up from its 2016 spending spree, and the free agent market had tightened up. Patrick Patterson was the best example, he signed a three-year, $16.4 million contract — a year ago he would have gotten that much a season. The days of overpaying guys just because teams had the money had gone away.

Then the Knicks said, “hold my beer…”

They came in with a four-year, $71 million offer sheet for Hawks’ restricted free agent Tim Hardaway Jr. It was an offer that baffled front offices and agents around the league, and was way more than the Hawks’ logical offer of four-years, $48 million. The Hawks have decided they are not going to match, reports Adrian Wojnarowski, so the Knicks get their man.

Bobby Marks of ESPN adds the details.

The confirmed cap hit on the Tim Hardaway Jr. contract with the Knicks is $16.50M, $17.32M, $18.15M and $18.97M. The fourth year is a player option and the contract has a 15% trade bonus. The bonus would be 15% of what is owed to Hardaway Jr. not including the 4th year. The amount would spread over Year 1-3.

Hardaway grew into a solid NBA player while in Atlanta, and last year averaged 14.5 points a game shooting 35.7 percent from three. He doesn’t provide much defense, but he can be part of the rebuilding in New York and the Knicks certainly could use shooting. They just overpaid for it.

Just to remind everyone, the Knicks drafted Hardaway but traded him for Jerian Grant, whom they traded for Derrick Rose, who is a free agent but the Knicks have to renounce him to sign Hardaway to this deal. It’s the circle of life, Knicks style.

Report: Justin Holiday agrees to two-year, $9 million deal with the Chicago Bulls


Jrue Holiday signed for a staggering sum with the New Orleans Pelicans. Now, it’s brother Justin Holiday‘s turn to ink a contract.

According to reports, Holiday has signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Chicago Bulls. Holiday will be a backup replacement now that Chicago has waived Rajon Rondo.

Holiday, 28, played in 82 games last season for the New York Knicks. He averaged 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per-game.

Via Twitter:

Holiday will share point guard duties with Zach LaVine, Jerian Grant, and Kris Dunn. He previously played for the Bulls in 2015-16.

Reports: Charlotte reaches one-year deal with Michael Carter-Williams for $2.7 million


Michael Carter-Williams has played with four teams in four different years, and his game has stagnated to the point that he is the first ever Rookie of the Year to not have his fifth year picked up by a team. The Bulls let him walk so they could run out a point guard trio of Kris Dunn, Cameron Payne, and Jerian Grant (in whatever order you wish).

Point guards who can’t shoot and have an injury history are not in high demand, but Carter-Williams will get a chance to prove himself coming off the bench in Charlotte next year. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer broke the story.

MCW confirmed this himself.

The deal is for one year at $2.7 million. He will come off the bench behind Kemba Walker, and the Hornets likely will add a veteran third point guard to the mix.

Remember back when Sam Hinkie traded Carter-Williams to the Bucks and got the Sixers’ future Lakers first-round pick? The Sixers traded that pick this year to Boston in the deal that got Philly the No. 1 pick and Markelle Fultz. The Bucks traded him to the Bulls in a deal that got Milwaukee Tony Snell, where he had a breakout season.

Carter-Williams averaged 6.6 points and 2.5 assists per game last season, and his length makes him a decent defender. He’s a below-average NBA point guard, but he can give the Hornets some decent bench minutes, and he comes at a price they can easily afford.

Bulls waive Rajon Rondo after no trade can be found


Back at the press conference he held just after the end of the season, Bulls president John Paxson said there was a, “Really good chance we bring Rajon back.”

Two months later — after trading Jimmy Butler and moving towards a youth movement — the Chicago Bulls decided to waive Rajon Rondo, the team announced Friday. The Bulls also announced they would waive Isaiah Canaan.

Rondo had a $13.4 million salary for next season, but only $3 million of it was guaranteed.

The Bulls had actively tried to shop Rondo in a trade for the past week, but there has been no real interest (and teams that were willing to talk wanted Chicago to throw in a sweetener to take him). Rondo played well for the Bulls the second half of last season (up until his thumb injury in the playoffs sidelined him), but with a glut of point guards on the free agent market teams though they could get a better player or better value elsewhere.

The Bulls want to give the ball to their young point guards Kris Dunn, Jerian Grant, and Cameron Payne and see which one (or ones) can develop into players they can trust down the line.

Now Rondo is a free agent thrown into that point-guard heavy market. He will land somewhere next season, but he’s going to take a pay cut and could be asked to come off the bench.