Markets

Hawks won't match New York's offer sheet for Tim Hardaway Jr

Hawks won't match New York's offer sheet for Tim Hardaway Jr

The Atlanta Hawks will not match Tim Hardaway Jr.

Hardaway's offer sheet was delivered to the Hawks on Thursday night, and Atlanta elected to pass on a deal that is a significant investment with a fourth-year player option worth almost $19 million, league sources said.

There has been almost uniformed opinion within Atlanta ownership and management that the contract is simply too steep measured against the production and potential of Hardaway Jr., league sources told ESPN.

The New York Knicks are betting $71 million on Tim Hardaway Jr. continuing his development into a star-caliber scoring threat. So it's not all that shocking they're about to overpay for Hardaway Jr. NY traded him to Atlanta for Jerian Grant, who was then used to trade for Derrick Rose.

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New York's offer sheet includes an unusual provision requiring the team to pay 50 percent of Hardaway's annual salary by October 1 of every season, according to league sources. Hardaway spent two seasons in Atlanta, playing his best last season when he averaged 14.5 points per game.

With the Hardaway Jr. contract in place, the Knicks have very little to offer free agents on the market. As the beleaguered franchise moves in cyclical fashion (even in the post-Phil Jackson era), Grant was traded to Chicago for Derrick Rose, who was then renounced to provide the cap space to hand a rotation-level wing more than $17 million average annual salary. They also withdrew a qualifying offer to Baker, who was a restricted free agent.

Hardaway is expected to make the Knicks younger, more athletic and more fluid. Baker, though, has already agreed to a deal with NY.

The Knicks can start him with Courtney Lee, who signed a $50 million deal last summer, with each player moving between shooting guard and small forward.