The New York Knicks selected Michigan shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr with the 24th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Here is our profile of Hardaway Jr from our draft preview. A few more thoughts after the jump -
1. The biggest assumption about this selection from many is that JR Smith may not be coming back. There is rumors about Milwaukee offering Smith a contract the Knicks can’t afford to match and if he walks, Hardaway Jr can project to filling his role long term. At this point, that remains a bit of a leap. Smith is still most likely to be on the Knicks next year, while Hardaway Jr will be best served with a lesser role in his rookie year, likely as a key cog in the Knicks second unit.
2. Hardaway is 6-6 and has good explosiveness. From a physical perspective, he is a nice addition on the wing to the Knicks small-ball line-ups. His defense has a ways to go but Mike Woodson should develop him on that end. Hardaway Jr impressed the Knicks in his workout with his athleticism and creativity on offense. His addition should improve the scoring off the Knicks bench.
3. The Knicks passed on Tony Mitchell and Reggie Bullock which was mildly surprising but ultimately Hardaway Jr was good value at the 24th spot. He is a NBA-ready player who needs to fine tune his defense and offensive consistency but should be a rotational player immediately for the Knicks.
4. More coming tomorrow on the Nets/Celtics BLOCKBUSTER.