NBA Hall Of Famer Tim Hardaway Sr. Blames Kristaps Porzingis For His Son’s Departure From Knicks

Would Tim Hardaway Jr. still be a Knick if Kristaps Porzingis hadn't demanded a trade?

Tim Hardaway Jr. #3,Frank Ntilikina #11 and Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks react in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on November 13, 2017 in New York City.The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the New York Knicks 104-101.
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Would Tim Hardaway Jr. still be a Knick if Kristaps Porzingis hadn't demanded a trade?

When they traded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New York Knicks officially named Kristaps Porzingis as the new face of the franchise. However, Porzingis’ reign with the Knicks didn’t last long. More than a week before the February NBA trade deadline, Porzingis and the Knicks’ management reportedly had a meeting with the Latvian center leaving with the impression that he wanted out of New York.

With Kristaps Porzingis no longer interested in staying with the team, the Knicks decided to trade him, together with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, and future draft picks. In a recent interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, NBA Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway Sr. expressed his frustration over the blockbuster trade that forced his son out of the Knicks.

If Kristaps Porzingis trusted Coach David Fizdale’s program, Tim Hardaway Sr. believes that his son would still be a Knick right now.

“I don’t understand that (Porzingis) situation,” Hardaway Sr. said. “I don’t know what happened in the (Porzingis) meeting in there. The whole thing was just funky. It was something there that the vibe wasn’t cool. Sometimes that’s the way it is. Look at Kawhi Leonard. He was in the best situation in San Antonio. Everyone thought he was in the best situation in San Antonio and then something happens and the vibe changed.”

Tim Hardaway Sr. said that his son is very “disappointed” with the deal, as he always dreamed of helping the Knicks return to the Eastern Conference Playoffs and win an NBA championship. Despite not having a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, Tim Hardaway Jr. thinks that he and Kristaps Porzingis were capable of bringing the Knicks back to prominence.

Though he’s upset that his son is no longer playing in New York, Tim Hardaway Sr. believes that the Kristaps Porzingis trade has benefitted both the Knicks and the Mavericks. After dumping the lucrative contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, the Knicks are set to have enough salary cap space to offer two max contracts in the 2019 NBA free agency. In the past month, several NBA superstars have been rumored to be interested in signing with the Knicks next summer, including Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks have three young and promising players in Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Tim Hardaway Jr. However, in order to have a strong chance of contending for the NBA championship next season, Tim Hardaway Sr. believes that the Mavericks should find a free agent that complements their young core. To achieve their main goal, Hardaway Sr. also said that both Porzingis and Doncic need to remain healthy.