- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: If Tim Hardaway Jr. is anywhere near as good as his father was, the New York Knicks will be in good shape. New York addressed its need for a wing in Thursday's draft, selecting Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick.
Hardaway Jr. is the son of former Miami Heat point guard and longtime Knicks nemesis Tim Hardaway.
The Knicks passed up several point guard prospects and big man prospects to select Hardaway Jr., who starred at Michigan.
STRENGTHS: According to someone in the room, the 6-6 Hardaway Jr. had a strong workout with the Knicks earlier this month. He showed that he can get his shot off the dribble and get to the rim.
He also can be a good defender when he is engaged, according to scouting reports.
WEAKNESSES: The biggest concerns about Hardaway are his shot selection and consistency. He also needs to improve his dribble, according to several scouting reports.
BYE BYE J.R.? The selection of Hardaway Jr. can be seen as a sign that the Knicks are concerned that J.R. Smith won't be back next season. New York can only offer Smith approximately $5 million annually with standard raises over four years. Other teams with cap space, including Milwaukee and Detroit, are expected to make strong offers for Smith, a free agent. The 2012-13 Sixth Man Award winner may have to accept less money if he wants to stay in New York. Hardaway Jr. is insurance for the Knicks in case Smith decides to take his talents elsewhere.
WHO'D THEY PASS UP? UNC wing Reggie Bullock was on the board at 24. The Knicks were impressed by Bullock's workout. Murray State point guard Isiah Canaan and North Texas power forward Tony Mitchell were also available. Many draft experts pegged the athletic Mitchell to go to the Knicks.
There were other wings on the board when the Knicks picked -- Alan Crabbe, Jamaal Franklin and Glen Rice Jr. among them. New York also passed up point guard Nate Wolters and big man Mike Muscala, both of whom worked out for the team earlier this month.
WHO WASN'T AVAILABLE? The Hawks took German point guard Dennis Schroeder, a playmaker the Knicks coveted, at 17.
Miami point guard Shane Larkin went 18 to the Mavericks, who acquired the pick from Atlanta. The Knicks would've loved to take Larkin as a backup guard.
Also, Chicago took wing Tony Snell at 20 and Gorgui Dieng went 21 to Minnesota, via Utah. Both players worked out for the Knicks and many believed New York would jump at the chance to take Dieng, a Louisville big man, if he was available.
QUESTION: What do you think of the Hardaway Jr. pick? Like it? Hate it?
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4dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann