If you’re a fantasy basketball owner in need of 3-point help, adding a sharpshooter like the New York Knicks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. could give you the edge you’re looking for.
Finding players on the waiver wire who can score in bunches can be difficult, but adding players who can make 3-pointers in bunches is a whole other story. Don’t miss the boat on Hardaway while he’s still red-hot:
» Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, New York Knicks (10.1 percent owned on ESPN.com):
The New York Knicks are enduring one of the worst and most embarrassing seasons in NBA history. The team is a mess, the coach is a hack, and the front office is in shambles. Drafting Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick in last summer’s draft was nearly the only thing the Knicks have done right this season.
It’s obvious Hardaway has lots of improvements to make on the defensive end and he is far from being a force when handling the ball, but his shooting has been a real bright spot for the Knicks this year.
The rookie out of Michigan is averaging 9.7 points and shooting 45.2 percent (33-of-73) from 16-24 feet, but for the purpose of this article is to focus on 3-point shooting, and that’s where Hardaway has really been able to stand out.
Hardaway has taken advantage of the Knicks’ need for perimeter scoring, connecting on 94 of his 255 3-point shot attempts. His 36.9 percent shooting from long distance is No. 1 overall among all rookies with at least 25 games played.
Starting on January 24, Hardaway began to see a dramatic spike in minutes and production — which seemed to coincide with Iman Shumpert falling out of favor in coach Mike Woodson‘s rotation and then later sustaining a knee injury. Before then, Hardaway was averaging 1.3 triples in just 18.7 minutes over 41 games, but in the 19 games since, he is knocking down 2.2 treys in a whopping 31.0 minutes per contest. He’s also contributing 12.8 points and shooting 88.3 percent from the line during that span.
The Knicks have lost 13 of their last 15 games and are gradually falling further and further out of playoff contention. Woodson can be very fickle when it comes to trusting anyone outside of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith, but Hardaway seems to have finally earned a place in his “circle of trust” and should continue to get solid minutes from here on out.