Tim Hardaway Sr. blames Kristaps Porzingis‘ desire to go elsewhere for his son’s trade to Dallas, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Tim Hardaway Jr. was sent to Dallas along with Porzingis at the end of January in a deal designed to open up cap room for this summer. He had just signed a four-year, $71MM deal with the Knicks prior to last season and was hoping to be part of the turnaround in New York.
“He was disappointed,’’ Hardaway Sr. said. “He wanted to win there. He wanted to get them in the playoffs (once Porzingis got back) and see where they could go. He wanted the playoffs and have the fans cheering them in the playoffs, but there was the injury. He wasn’t disappointed about moving as much as he was disappointed he couldn’t finish what he was trying to start.’’
Hardaway Sr. had worked with Knicks coach David Fizdale in Miami and was happy that his son got a chance to play for him. He said the Mavericks made several inquiries about a deal before the opportunity with Porzingis arose.
“It’s business,’’ Hardaway Sr. said. “It’s my understanding Porzingis wanted to leave and when Dallas put the deal together, they wanted Tim in the deal. They didn’t want other guys. They wanted Tim a while back. It wouldn’t get approved if Tim wasn’t in the deal.”
There’s more from New York:
- Frank Ntilikina‘s long-awaited return from a groin injury will likely happen Friday, Berman tweets. Fizdale told reporters before tonight’s game that he wants the second-year guard to get one more practice with the G League affiliate in Westchester before putting him in a game. Tonight will mark the 24th straight game he has missed since getting hurt in January.
- The final three weeks of the season may determine Ntilikina’s future with the franchise, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Since Ntilikina was sidelined, the Knicks traded for Dennis Smith Jr. and have taken a long look at Emmanuel Mudiay. New York received offers for Ntilikina before the February deadline, Bondy adds, and a source says GM Scott Perry reached out to a member of the Hawks’ front office to see if they were interested. Atlanta remained committed to Trae Young as its point guard, so the talks didn’t go any further.
- Smith will miss his fourth straight game tonight with a bad back, relays Ian Begley of ESPN (Twitter link). Fizdale said Smith may be re-evaluated next week.