Tim Hardaway Jr. is in the middle of the biggest job interview of his life. A few weeks after the NBA combine, where Hardaway impressed NBA scouts with his measurables, the former Michigan shooting guard is in the midst of meeting with different teams before the June 27th NBA Draft. His stock has been on the rise since the season ended as more NBA scouts and media members are warming up to the former Wolverine. So, how much do Hardaway’s experiences during his three years with Michigan factor into how NBA teams look at him?
Hardaway is actually somewhat of a rarity these days. He is a first round NBA pick who started three full seasons in college. According to nbadraft.net, there are just six juniors or seniors projected to be picked ahead of Hardaway, who is projected as the no. 23 pick.
Hardaway’s three college seasons at Michigan not only give him a more complete resume for NBA teams but also a maturity and wealth of experience that younger players might not have. Hardaway has played in three Big Ten Tournaments, three NCAA Tournaments (including a title game run this past spring), and has been through the gauntlet of Big Ten basketball three times as well. All of that experience should help Hardaway adapt to the adversity that he will certainly face in the NBA. He has been in tough spots, played against top talent for three years and hit big shots. Hardaway will not be afraid of the moment, that is for sure.
Along with his experience from Michigan, Hardaway also has a great resource on what it is like to be an NBA player—his father. Hardaway grew up watching his father play in the NBA, which has given him a very professional demeanor during his time playing amateur basketball for the Wolverines.
Mid to late first round picks in the NBA Draft often are full of uncertainty. Tim However, Hardaway’s wealth of experience, both through his three years at Michigan and from his father, will ensure confidence teams that Hardaway can be depended on to be mentally prepared for the step up to the NBA.
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