Tim Hardaway Jr. knows all about the New York Knicks.
Tim Hardaway, his father, dealt a series of heartbreaking blows to the Knicks as a member of the Miami Heat throughout the 1990s. The point guard played a vital role in the two franchise’s many playoff battles.
But when Hardaway Jr. got his first taste of the Knicks Tuesday, he wasn’t attempting to deliver the team a knockout punch, as his father did so many times — he was auditioning to don the orange and blue.
The Michigan product worked out for the Knicks in Westchester, along with Glen Rice Jr. and Phil Pressey, whose fathers also played in the NBA.
Hardaway Jr. may be around when David Stern calls the Knicks’ name with the 23rd pick in the draft. He is projected to be drafted in the mid-to-late first round.
But the Knicks will likely be in the market for a big-man in the draft. After all, Tyson Chandler represents the team’s only reliable option in the frontcourt. The Knicks have been rumored to be interested in selecting Tony Mitchell or Jeff Withey.
Still, Hardaway Jr. could give the Knicks some desperately needed scoring. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound shooting guard averaged 14.5 points per game last season on 43.7 percent shooting, including going 37.4 percent from beyond the arc.
He is considered to be one of the more athletic guards in the draft, and is an excellent shooter. Hardaway Jr. also has the potential to develop into a stellar defender, given his size and wingspan.
Hardaway Jr. demonstrated his scoring versatility at Michigan. He has the ability to finish around screens, he can catch-and-shoot and he can excel in transition.
The shooting guard grew up learning to hate the Knicks. Now, Hardaway Jr. may begin his career with the team.