It has been a crazy offseason for the New York Knicks, but they are now set to open the 2017-18 season with a completely new look. Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, which leaves Kristaps Porzingis as the new face of the Knicks’ franchise.
New York also went out and brought back a former player that they feel will be a big part of their long-term future. Tim Hardaway Jr. was signed in free agency to a big four-year, nearly $71 million contract. It was a bold move, but the Knicks are confident that he can become a cornerstone of their franchise.
Last season with the Atlanta Hawks, Hardaway started showing some of his full potential. He ended up averaging 14.5 points per game to go along with 2.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds. Hardaway shot 45.5 percent from the field overall and knocked down 35.7 percent from behind the three-point arc.
At just 25 years of age, Hardaway is still capable of developing his game even more. A larger role with the Knicks might just be what he needs to unlock his full potential.
All of that being said, what goals should be set for Tim Hardaway Jr. heading into the 2017-18 NBA season with the Knicks?
Improving Scoring Average to 20 Per Game
Hardaway has lethal scoring potential and averaging 20 points per game would be an ideal goal for him to shoot for. He showed flashes of that kind of scoring potential last season with the Hawks, but the Knicks are going to ask him to put up a lot more shots than he did last year. New Y0rk doesn’t look like a playoff team, but Hardaway’s development will be a key for them this season.
Take His Defense to the Next Level
If the Knicks are going to make a play for one of the lower playoff spots in the East, they will need their defense to step up. Hardaway has not been a defensive stopper thus far in his career, but his goal should be to change that this season and become a key perimeter defender.
— Chip Murphy (@ChipperMurphy) October 2, 2017
Shoot 40 Percent from Three-Point Range
New York will ask Hardaway to be their three-point threat. He shot 35.7 percent from three-point range this season but should set a goal to shoot around 40 percent. Hardaway is capable of shooting the long ball at that percentage and it would help the Knicks’ offense in a big way.
Become a Team Leader
Hardaway’s father was known as a leader and it’s time for Jr. to embrace that role for the Knicks. Porzingis is the face of the franchise, but Hardaway needs to step into a leadership role both on and off the court.
What kind of season are you expecting from Tim Hardaway Jr. in the 2017-18 NBA season? Are there any other goals that you would add to this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Nick Wass/AP Images]