Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. To Miss Rest Of Season

Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s first season with the Mavericks will come to an early end, as the team has shut down the veteran wing after he suffered a stress reaction in his left tibia, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Hardaway, 27, arrived in Dallas last month along with Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke as part of a blockbuster trade with the Knicks. In 19 games (29.4 MPG) for his new team, he averaged 15.5 PPG on .404/.321/.767 shooting.

There are still two more years on Hardaway’s contract after this season, including a 2020/21 player option, so he’s expected to remain a part of the Mavs’ roster and rotation going forward. Since the former Knick previously battled a stress injury in his left leg during the 2017/18 season, he and the team figure to be extra cautious with his latest ailment. However, there’s no indication that he won’t be fully healthy and ready to go for the 2019/20 season.

With Hardaway on the shelf, Justin Jackson and Ryan Broekhoff look like prime candidates to see their roles increase down the stretch. Jackson moved into Dallas’ starting lineup for the first time on Thursday, while Broekhoff logged 17 minutes after playing a total of just six minutes in the team’s previous eight games.

Knicks Notes: Hardaway, Ntilikina, Smith

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.

Details On How Porzingis Trade Talks Played Out

In his latest newsletter for The New York Times, Marc Stein takes a deep dive into the trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis from New York to Dallas, sharing several interesting new details on the negotiations leading up to the deal itself.

Here’s a round-up of the highlights from Stein:

  • The Knicks spent a good portion of January canvassing the NBA for possible Porzingis trades, according to Stein, who hears the team was rebuffed when it inquired on potential targets like Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Kings guard De’Aaron Fox. After devoting much of the month to possible trade scenarios, the Knicks were convinced that no team besides Dallas would take on the Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee contracts while also offering a player like Dennis Smith Jr. along with multiple first-round picks, says Stein.
  • New York’s management group has known for years that the Mavericks were very interested in Porzingis, with one Mavs official joking to Stein that Dallas had approached the Knicks “about a hundred times” before they finally showed a willingness to move the All-Star big man. Conversely, the Knicks had been expressing interest in Smith all season, per Stein.
  • The Knicks and Mavericks had been discussing the framework of a possible Wesley Matthews/Hardaway deal for weeks, and began expanding those talks to include Porzingis on January 28, Stein writes. The two teams then worked in person toward finalizing the framework of a deal last Wednesday when the Mavs played the Knicks in New York. However, the Knicks wanted to wait until after they met with the Porzingis brothers on Thursday to make any decisions.
  • Following that Thursday meeting between Knicks management and the Porzingis brothers, Janis Porzingis (Kristaps’ agent) provided the club with a four-team list of preferred destinations, a source tells Stein. The Nets and Clippers were on that list, but the Mavericks weren’t. The Knicks opted to move quickly on the Mavs deal in part due to concern that Porzingis’ camp would leak that list and threaten to only sign long-term with those clubs, Stein adds.
  • The Knicks were informed that Porzingis was ready to leave the team and continue his injury rehab in Spain if he remained on the roster through the trade deadline, Stein hears.
  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, with an interesting quote to Stein: “It was my mistake to not keep Dirk [Nowitzki] and Steve [Nash] together longer. I won’t make the same mistake with Luka [Doncic] and KP.”
  • For what it’s worth, Stein reports that the threat of Kevin Durant leaving for the Knicks has “never felt more real” to the Warriors than it does now that New York has cleared two maximum-salary slots for the summer.

Knicks Trade Kristaps Porzingis To Mavericks

The Knicks have traded Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two first-round picks, both teams announced in press releases Thursday.

News of this deal comes just shortly after word broke that Porzingis had met with Knicks management to express frustration with the direction of the organization, leaving the team with the impression that he wanted to be moved. While Porzingis’ preference to be dealt may have jump-started these talks, it didn’t take the Knicks long to find a potential deal they liked, suggesting that they may not have been fully invested in the relationship either.

“As is standard for this time of year, we were exploring various options on potential trades,” Knicks general manager Scott Perry said in a statement. “Considering the uncertainty regarding Kristaps’ free agent status and his request today to be traded, we made a trade that we are confident improves the franchise.”

From the Knicks’ perspective, moving on from Porzingis by attaching two unwanted multi-year contracts to him creates some tantalizing free agent possibilities for the franchise. By replacing Porzingis’ cap hold ($17.09MM), Hardaway’s salary ($18.15MM), and Lee’s salary ($12.76MM) with Smith’s modest $4.46MM salary on the 2019/20 books, the Knicks will reduce their commitments by approximately $43.5MM, which should open up enough cap room for two maximum-salary free agents.

The Knicks’ only players with guaranteed contracts for 2019/20 are Smith, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson. Armed with those youngsters and a likely top-five pick, New York will enter free agency with the ability to potentially land two free agents from a group that includes Kevin Durant, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, and others.

Besides creating substantial cap flexibility, the Knicks will acquire Smith, a second-year guard who wasn’t happy with his role in Dallas. The ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft, DSJ saw his responsibilities dialed back due to Luka Doncic‘s emergence this season. Smith has still built upon some of last year’s numbers, averaging 12.9 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 3.0 RPG with a .440/.344/.695 shooting line. He now appears poised to take over point guard duties in New York, a year after the team passed on him to draft Ntilikina.

New York also acquired a 2021 unprotected first-round pick and 2023 protected first-round pick (1-10) in the trade agreement, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley reported.

“We feel like we did the right thing,” Knicks president Steve Mills said, according to Begley. “When you try to think about how you want to build your team for the long term, you don’t want to commit a max (contract) to a player who clearly says to you he doesn’t want to be here.”

Jordan and Matthews, who are on pricey expiring deals, likely don’t have a future in New York. Rival executives expect the Knicks to explore the trade market over the next week for potential deals involving those veterans, according to Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). Both Fischer and ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link) suggest that Jordan and Matthews will be intriguing buyout candidates if they’re not flipped by the Knicks.

Perry emphasized in a conference call Thursday that both Jordan and Matthews could have a positive impact on their young players for the remainder of the season, as relayed by Begley. This, of course, is provided they aren’t traded or bought out from their current deals. This statement drew a questioning response on social media from Knicks center Enes Kanter, another candidate to be traded by the deadline.

Meanwhile, the deal represents a huge swing for the Mavericks, who will pair Porzingis with Doncic with an eye toward keeping both players in Dallas for years to come. By taking on the multiyear contracts for Hardaway and Lee in exchange for Jordan and Matthews, Dallas will almost certainly give up its chance to create cap room in 2019, but will be on track to open up significant space in 2020, while Doncic is still on his rookie contract. Porzingis posted a clip of him shaking hands with Doncic after the trade became official, clearly excited for his new partnership in Dallas.

An All-Star a year ago, Porzingis averaged 22.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.4 BPG with a .439/.395/.793 shooting line in 48 games in 2017/18, displaying franchise-player potential. However, a torn ACL ended his season early and has sidelined him for the entire 2018/19 campaign so far. He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, at which point he could sign his one-year qualifying offer, sign an offer sheet with another team, or negotiate a new deal directly with the Mavs.

[RELATED: Porzingis plans to tell Mavs he’ll sign qualifying offer?]

Dallas also created a $12.9MM trade exception in the agreement, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Additionally, Marks notes (via Twitter) that the two teams will have to account for Hardaway’s 15% trade bonus, which is currently worth $3.75MM. Assuming THJ doesn’t waive it, his cap hits will increase by $1.875MM annually for this season and next, and the Knicks will have to pay the bonus money.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Knicks Make Tim Hardaway, Courtney Lee Available

In an unsurprising development, the Knicks have made Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee available via trade in advance of the February 7 deadline, three sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times. The decision is largely financially motivated, Stein adds.

We’ve assumed for months that Hardaway and Lee would be on the trade block this season, since the’re both owed pricey salaries for 2019/20 and the Knicks would like to be players this summer for a group of free agents that includes Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker. A report earlier this week from Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic indicated that rival teams have inquired on Hardaway and Lee.

From the Knicks’ perspective, an ideal trade involving Hardaway or Lee would see New York acquire an expiring contract without having to attach an asset to either veteran to sweeten the deal. Stein suggests it’s unclear whether the Knicks will be able to find a suitable trade without attaching an additional asset — Vokunov said in his report that the front office has been averse to adding a sweetener.

Here are a few more Knicks-related notes and rumors:

  • Howard Beck of Bleacher Report says he gets the impression the Knicks would be willing to trade “just about everyone not named Kristaps (Porzingis) or Kevin (Knox)” if it helps clear the team’s books for this summer (Twitter link).
  • After Enes Kanter told the Knicks to play him or “get me out of here,” head coach David Fizdale responded to his veteran center and downplayed the idea that the situation will cause any distractions for the team. Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic has the full quotes from Fizdale.
  • Vorkunov also relays the latest comments from Kanter, who took exception with being grouped in with veterans like Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas when Fizdale informed those players – and Trey Burke – that their minutes would be cut. “I mean, Courtney and Lance, they’re 33, 34, whatever years old. I’m 26 years old. It’s not like I am old. You know what I mean?” Kanter said. “They treat me like I’m old. I’m not old. I’m 26 years old.” In Marc Stein’s report (linked above), he wrote that Kanter is expected to seek a buyout if he’s not moved by the trade deadline.
  • Tim Hardaway didn’t seem to love being thrown under the bus by Allonzo Trier in a Twitter direct message Trier sent to a fan. Responding to criticism from the fan for a defensive miscue vs. Houston, Trier retorted that Hardaway was supposed to have switched onto his man. “Oh, so he blaming other people, basically?” Hardaway said, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “At the end of the day I think it all falls down on the team. Team defense, you learn from it.” Trier apologized for the message today after it leaked.

Knicks Rumors: Hardaway, Lee, Kanter

Rival teams have inquired about Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who suggests that the Knicks would be open to moving either player and creating additional 2019 cap flexibility — even if losing Hardaway would make the lottery-bound team even less competitive on a nightly basis.

However, league sources tell Vorkunov that the Knicks “have been adamant” about not attaching any sweeteners to Hardaway or Lee in a deal. Both players are on pricey multiyear contracts and aren’t exactly positive assets right now, so any team willing to trade expiring salary for either Hardaway or Lee would likely be seeking a draft pick or a young player from New York. Apparently, as Vorkunov details, the Knicks are averse to that idea, as they were when they tried to shop Joakim Noah last year.

In contrast to past management groups, the Knicks’ current front office has exhibited a commendable commitment to hanging onto future draft picks. And while that stance may be in the club’s best long-term interests, it may reduce the likelihood of Hardaway or Lee being dealt by February 7. Perhaps, as Vorkunov writes, a contending team in need of a veteran scorer or shooter will relent by the deadline and make a deal with the Knicks without asking for an extra asset, but that’s certainly no lock.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Vorkunov’s piece goes more in-depth on which Knicks players are the most and least likely to be moved by next month’s deadline, and is worth checking out in full. He identifies Enes Kanter as the player most likely to be with a new team after February 7, though a number of other veterans are also trade candidates.
  • Speaking of Kanter, he expressed some disappointment and frustration on Monday after being informed by head coach David Fizdale that he’d likely be out of the rotation going forward, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. Of course, Kanter’s removal from the rotation lasted about a quarter and a half — he entered Monday’s game in the second quarter after Luke Kornet went down with an ankle sprain, and figures to continue seeing regular minutes if Kornet has to miss time.
  • Still, Kanter sounds like someone who might be ready to move on from the Knicks if his minutes are cut back again, as Berman relays: “I love it here, but in the end, I want to play basketball. I miss playing basketball, man. And I would let [Knicks GM] Scott [Perry] and my agent handle that stuff. We had the conversation [Sunday], and they were kind of like, shutting me down. So I’m like, I want to play basketball. I love it here. I love New York. I love the fans, but in the end, I want to play basketball.”
  • The Knicks’ commitment to a youth movement may not be good news for Kanter, but it should benefit Frank Ntilikina, writes George Willis of The New York Post.

Knicks Notes: Kanter, Dotson, Hardaway, Mudiay

Knicks center Enes Kanter sounded off on his reduced playing time following a miserable night in Utah, relays Marc Berman of the New York Post. Kanter was pulled from the starting lineup earlier this season to give a more prominent to rookie Mitchell Robinson. With Robinson injured, Kanter remains a reserve as the team tries out little-used Luke Kornet.

The frustration overflowed last night following an 0-for-6 performance in which Kanter didn’t enter the game until nine minutes had elapsed and the Knicks were already trailing by 14 points.

“I understand we want the young guys to get better, but it’s very painful to watch it out there,’’ Kanter said. “I’m essentially positive and try to help the young guys get better. It’s too early in the season to shut me down. My goal this year was to go out and be an All-Star, but now look at the situation.’’

Kanter stopped short of asking for a trade, but he fears his minutes will be cut even further once Robinson returns. After opting in last summer, Kanter has an $18.6MM expiring contract that could be attractive to a contender.

There’s more this morning out of New York:

  • In addition to the on-court frustration, Kanter learned Saturday that the NBA won’t be taking action against Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham for his role in a fracas this week, Berman adds. Kanter had called on the league to fine Ham for allegedly pushing him from behind during an altercation with Giannis Antetokounmpo. An NBA source told Berman that Ham “acted as a peacemaker to separate the players.”
  • The Knicks envision Damyean Dotson as part of their future, Berman writes in a separate story. The team has until July 15 to guarantee his $1.6MM contract for next season and seems likely to do so. New York has received calls about him from other teams, including Detroit and Brooklyn, notes Berman, who speculates that having young wings like Dotson and Allonzo Trier could make the Knicks more willing to deal Tim Hardaway Jr. to help open cap space for a run at Kevin Durant.
  • As Emmanuel Mudiay prepares for Monday’s return to Denver, he tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News that things got so bad late in his tenure there that he stopped talking to the media. Mudiay never developed into the player Nuggets hoped when they took him with the seventh pick in 2015, and he was benched prior to the February trade that brought him to New York. “It was just the best decision at the time for both of us,” Mudiay said of the deal. “So it’s not like, I want to prove y’all wrong or blah, blah, blah. It’s just certain things had to happen and it worked out best for both sides.”

New York Notes: Hardaway, Russell, Lin, Mudiay

After a strong start to the 2018/19 season, Knicks’ guard Tim Hardaway Jr. has seen his game go a little stagnant over the last month or so. And according to Stefan Bondy of the Daily News, we now know why, as it has been reported that Hardaway is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot and will have to manage the pain moving forward this season.

As Bondy notes, Hardaway missed the Knicks’ loss against the Suns on Monday to ease some inflammation he was having, but he returned tonight to score 27 points against the Sixers, albeit in a losing effort.

As numerous previous injuries have demonstrated, playing on plantar fasciitis prolongs the recovery because the only cure is rest. Knicks’ head coach David Fizdale says that Hardaway has been coping with the pain “for a while,” but Hardaway says the pain only began a few games ago, so it’s difficult to know when the pain actually started.

“I’ve never had (plantar fasciitis) before, just heard a lot of things about it, that if you keep playing on it, it could get worse,” Hardaway told Bondy. “So around this time last year (with the Knicks) I had an injury and I was out a month-and-a-half. Almost two months. So I just want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Hardaway’s status and pain tolerance will be something to keep an eye on as the Knicks’ season moves forward.

There’s more out of the Big Apple:

  • Nets’ point guard D’Angelo Russell is beginning to look like a player who was taken with the No. 2 overall selection in the NBA Draft, and his teammates and others within the organization are starting to take notice, per NetsDaily. Russell is embracing Brooklyn and becoming a team-first player as he looks to become a leader and cash in on a big payday this summer.
  • In a piece written by Brian Lewis of the New York Post, former Nets’ and current Hawks’ guard Jeremy Lin opens up about the pain he felt when he was traded to Atlanta from Brooklyn. Speaking on his meeting with head coach Kenny Atkinson after learning of the trade, Lin said he was hurt and that the trade was unexpected, but that he ultimately understood it was a business decision and he’s grateful for the time he spent in Brooklyn.
  • Since being promoted to the starting lineup about a month ago, Knicks’ point guard Emmanuel Mudiay has been a bright spot for an otherwise underwhelming team, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Mudiay has done a good job of improving his conditioning, but his defense is still a work in process. If he continues to get better this season, however, the Knicks could very well look at bringing him back next season and beyond.

O’Connor’s Latest: Ariza, Suns, Lakers, Love, Knicks

Earlier this morning, we relayed a report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggesting that the Jazz are among the teams with interest in Bulls forward Jabari Parker. O’Connor’s full article for The Ringer includes a number of other interesting tidbits worth passing along, so we’ll round up some of the highlights in the space below…

  • Many NBA executives expect it to be a quiet trade season in 2018/19, since there will be a ton of buyers and the sellers don’t have all that many attractive trade assets, says O’Connor.
  • After Friday’s three-team Trevor Ariza trade fell apart, the Lakers jumped back in by offering Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a second-round pick, but the Suns wanted a young player – likely Josh Hart – instead of the draft pick, according to O’Connor. The Lakers, as previously reported, refused to include Hart or any of their other top prospects.
  • One of the other variations of an Ariza deal that was discussed before the Suns sent him to the Wizards featured the Rockets and Hawks, league sources tell O’Connor. In that scenario, Ariza would have gone to the Lakers and the Rockets would have acquired Caldwell-Pope. The Suns would have received Jeremy Lin and an additional asset, while the Hawks got Brandon Knight and a first-round pick.
  • Reports have suggested that the Cavaliers don’t plan to trade Kevin Love unless they’re blown away by an offer. Even if that stance changes, front office executives don’t expect Cleveland to receive any viable offers for Love unless the big man looks healthy and productive before the deadline, O’Connor writes.
  • The Knicks‘ clearest path to a maximum-salary slot for the 2019 offseason would involve trading Courtney Lee or Tim Hardaway Jr. However, according to O’Connor, front office sources believe New York would need to attach an asset in order to move either player without taking back multiyear salary.

New York Notes: Hardaway, Noah, LeVert, Hornacek

Tim Hardaway Jr. started 54 of the 57 games he played last season, but he doesn’t mind having to fight for a starting position in camp, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. New coach David Fizdale has declared an open competition for all five starting roles, which means there are no guarantees even for a player like Hardaway, who has the third-highest salary on the team at $17.325MM.

“Everybody has to compete,’’ Hardaway said. “No spots are given. Everything is earned. So you’ve got to go out there and play with heart, play with passion. He’s going to make the right decision, put the five guys that he wants on the floor to start the game and we go on from there.”

Hardaway Jr. has a much longer relationship with Fizdale than any of his Knicks teammates. Hardaay’s father played for the Heat when Fizdale entered the league as a video coordinator in 1997/98 and served as a scout for Miami while Fizdale was an assistant coach.

“I just remember him being this little kid running around Miami Arena,” Fizdale said. “Now how my life’s come full circle with him. Now I’m his coach. It’s just fun for me. Because we have that connection with our families. … I really want to see him make it, but his deal is the same as everybody else’s: Earn it.’’

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • Ongoing negotiations regarding a buyout for Joakim Noah are preventing the Knicks from making another roster move, Berman writes in a separate story. They want to sign former Columbia forward Jeff Coby for training camp, but already have 20 players and can’t make a move until the Noah situation is resolved.
  • The Nets aren’t considered serious suitors for Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler anymore and are happy with the wing players they have on their roster, according to Brian Lewis of The New York PostCaris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe should also see major minutes this season, along with Joe Harris, who re-signed over the summer. “First two days of training camp, he’s been fantastic, quite honestly. I’m going to call it like it is,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of LeVert.
  • Former Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek is helping the Nets in an unofficial role during training camp and may continue to advise the team at times during the season, Lewis writes in another piece. Hornacek, who was dismissed by New York after last season ended, is a friend of Atkinson’s.