Knicks Notes: Hardaway, Tanking, Draft, Kidd

“Mind blowing” is the phrase Tim Hardaway Jr. used to describe the experience of being traded away from the Knicks twice, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Hardaway, who returned to New York on Monday to face the Nets, said he was surprised and disappointed to learn he had been shipped to Dallas as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal. Hardway had signed a four-year, $71MM contract with the Knicks 18 months earlier.

Hardaway wishes he and Porzingis had been given more of a chance to succeed in New York. The Knicks were 11-10 last season when Hardaway was sidelined by a stress fracture, and by the time he returned, Porzingis was lost for the season with a torn ACL.

“We definitely had something good going here my first time back with KP and myself in the lineup at the same time. Then I got injured, then he got injured. And then it kind of went downhill from there,” Hardaway said. “I let [Knicks management] know what we had was special and I really think they didn’t give us an opportunity to have KP. That’s what I told them. But it is what it is. We move forward.”

He added that the Knicks never told him about the trade, and he was given the news by his agent.

There’s more Knicks news to pass along:

  • The bottom spot in the league will be at stake tonight when the Knicks travel to Phoenix, Bondy notes in a separate story. New York holds the top position in our Reverse Standings at 13-51, a half game ahead of the Suns. Although the league’s worst three teams will all have a 14% shot at the No. 1 pick, Bondy states that the top spot is still important because the team that holds it can’t fall below the No. 5 pick. Since 1980, the top five draft positions have produced All-Stars at least 30% of the time, while just 19% of No. 6 picks have achieved that honor.
  • The draft will get “shaky” for the Knicks if they land outside the top two, a college scout tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. There don’t appear to be any sure-thing prospects outside of the Duke duo of Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.
  • Hall-of-Famer and former head coach Jason Kidd spoke to the Knicks at today’s shootaround, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. A long-time friend of head coach David Fizdale, Kidd had plenty of advice to pass along, particularly for the point guards. Kidd has been out of coaching since being fired by the Bucks last season, and has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Luke Walton with the Lakers. “That guy is a basketball genius,” Fizdale said of Kidd. “I just don’t see how at some point he’s not running another team.”
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