There's a lot of stuff being said out there about the Atlanta Hawks and Tim Hardaway Jr. possibly leaving for the New York Knicks.
Hardaway isn't like most free agents on the market, so some of the information out there has been murky and incorrect. Here's what's going on.
Hardaway Jr. is a restricted free agent this offseason, which means any offer that a team extends to him, the Hawks have a chance to match and keep him.
So on Thursday night, Hardaway signed an offer sheet from his former team, the New York Knicks. It's a puzzling move by the Knicks to go after a player they traded just two years ago. But even more startling is the amount the Knicks reportedly offered to Hardaway.
According to multiple reports, the Knicks offered him a four-year, $71 million deal. 11Alive news partner USA Today Sports confirmed the offer sheet details.
The Hawks have 48 hours to match the offer. That means by Saturday night/ early Sunday morning we should know whether or not Hardaway will stay in Atlanta. With the $71 million being much more than most expected Hardaway to get in the market and the Hawks unofficially being in a rebuild mode, even though general manager Travis Schlenk repeatedly says he's constructing a competitive team, it's likely Hardaway's days in Atlanta are over.
With Schlenk clearing out contracts like Dwight Howard's and letting Paul Millsap leave for Denver without even extending him an offer, matching New York's offer would be uncharacteristic of the former Golden State Warriors' assistant GM's behavior.
Plus, Hardaway's agency, Priority Sports, sent out a Tweet on Friday night that may have already revealed the Hawks' decision, but the language is vague and Priority wouldn't elaborate.
According to the Tweet, Hardaway is "heading back to NY to join" the Knicks. It seems like an agency wouldn't make the mistake of thinking the deal is already official, like some news outlets have.
Hardaway averaged 14.5 points last season and transitioned from being a guy to come off the bench to a starter as Kent Bazemore struggled late in the year.
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