The New York Knicks were one of the two teams, along with the New Orleans Pelicans, that kicked things off on Friday afternoon at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. With that, the Knicks were able to get a look at their first-round draft pick, Tim Hardaway Jr., who they selected with the 24th overall pick.
Hardaway Jr. played the most minutes of anyone on the Knicks’ squad, seeing the floor for just under 30 minutes. In his run, he put up 13 points, five boards, three assists and one steal, but shot just 4-12 from the field and only 1-6 from beyond-the-arc.
The rap on Hardaway Jr. coming into the draft was that he has the potential to be a fantastic scorer on the wing and is capable of being a solid defender. He also has the ability to crash the boards off the wings. However, the biggest drawback for Hardaway Jr. is that he showed a relative lack of consistency in college, meaning he never really seemed to have many strings of games where he was playing at a high level in each game.
In the Summer League game, Hardaway Jr. definitely looked comfortable and didn’t struggle in terms of his decision making. Sure, he took a few ill-advised shots, but this was his first game against NBA-level competition so that’s somewhat expected.
The biggest takeaway is the fact that he was so inefficient in his shooting, which seems to jump off the page in the box score. Considering his problems with inconsistency, though, that’s something you really can’t read too much into. He could come out in their next game and be on fire and everyone will forget about him going 4-12.
Hardaway Jr.’s first appearance with the Knicks definitely didn’t leave anyone raving about what he can do at the pro level, but it didn’t leave anyone condemning him either. In the end, we’ll need to see what he does over the rest of this week and a half to make a true assessment of what he could be for New York.