Should the Hawks match New York’s $71 million offer sheet for Tim Hardaway? Short answer, no. Long answer, definitely not.
There were reports that the Hawks would consider matching offers for Hardaway, but the general thinking among NBA journalists is that offers of around four years for $50 million would be around the maximum the Hawks would consider.
It’s not to say Hardaway doesn’t have value. In fact, with Paul Millsap gone, Hardaway could have become a 16-point per game scorer with more touches based on his last two months of the regular season.
The Hawks already overpaid for Kent Bazemore last year. They’re obviously very different players, but the fact remains that the ceiling on both Bazemore and Hardaway is a low-level starter or high-level bench player.
Now that the Hawks have completely embraced the rebuild, their best asset outside of Taurean Prince and Dennis Schroder is certainly cap space. We just saw the Hawks take on Jamal Crawford’s contract for a first round pick. The Hawks would be well advised to make a similar move either around the deadline or even next offseason.
The proposed contract also includes a 15% trade kicker and it would be an ascending contract, meaning the fourth year player option is going to be $19 million. The Knicks were lucky to trade Hardaway for pick 19 when he was on his rookie scale deal. The Hawks couldn’t execute a trade for Hardaway earlier this year. Imagine trying to trade Hardaway with a trade kicker.
This one’s an easy decision for the Hawks – let the man walk.