Knicks taking Hardaway Jr. with 24th pick may spell end for J.R.

By on June 28, 2013

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The Knicks select Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th overall pick.

Tim Hardaway is a name that was on the Knicks board as far back as the late 90’s. Of course, back then he was the enemy as the point guard of the hated Miami Heat.

Now, the Knicks are hoping Hardaway’s son can help them beat Miami.

The Knicks selected Michigan shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. The pick of Hardaway is insurance if the club fails to re-sign J.R. Smith, who will become a free agent on July 1st. Smith has expressed a desire to return to the club but the Knicks may be unable to meet Smith’s financial demands.

The 6-foot-6 Hardaway, 21, averaged 14.5 as a junior for Michigan and helped the Wolverines reach the NCAA Championship game. He made 73 of 195 3-pointers as a junior and shot 44 percent overall. Hardaway’s father, an employee of the Heat, was a five-time All Star who played 14 NBA seasons.

The elder Hardaway was a central figure in the celebrated Knicks-Heat rivalry in the late 90’s. After Miami defeated the Knicks in the second round of the 1997 Playoffs, the Knicks eliminated the Heat over the next three seasons.

The Knicks had considered drafting a point guard and Isaiah Canaan was available, but they elected to go for a shooting guard. Gorgui Dieng, a forward from Louisville who was being considered by the Knicks, was selected 21st overall by Utah and then traded to the Minnesota. The Nets then selected Duke forward Mason Plumlee with the 22nd overall and Indiana took Arizona forward Solomon Hill 23rd.

That left San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin, North Carolina’s Reggie Bullock and a couple of players of famous fathers, Hardaway Jr. and Glen Rice Jr. In the end, the Knicks went with the shooting guard and made it clear that they are not convinced that Smith will return.

The elder Hardaway is an enemy to Knicks fans, playing a central role in the Knicks-Heat rivalry of the late 90s.

WILFREDO LEE/AP

The elder Hardaway is an enemy to Knicks fans, playing a central role in the Knicks-Heat rivalry of the late 90s.

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Rasheed Wallace could be returning to the Detroit Pistons as an assistant coach. According to a Knicks source, Wallace has been in talks with Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks about joining his staff.

Wallace retired last April after one injury filled season with the Knicks. Mike Woodson had coaxed Wallace out of semi-retirement after the veteran forward had sat out the previous two seasons. But Wallace suffered a broken foot in December that required surgery. He returned for one game in April before announcing his retirement. Wallace stayed with the club throughout their playoff run, serving as a coach.

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Carmelo Anthony told reporters on Thursday that his left shoulder is improving and he remains hopeful that he won’t need surgery.

The Daily News reported last month that Anthony played with a partially torn labrum over the final five weeks of the season. The plan has been for Anthony to receive daily treatment with the hope that the injury will heal on its own.

Surgery is unlikely since it could sideline him for up to three months.


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