Here we continue to examine the top prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft. Today we examine:
Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan, 6’6”, 205 lbs
2012-13 Collegiate Stat Line: (stats courtesy ESPN.com)
14.5 points, 43% field goals, 37% 3-point field goals, 69% free throws, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.9 turnovers
Like his running mate at Michigan, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. has decided to cash in on the Wolverines’ successful run to the national championship game and declare for the 2013 NBA Draft. He’s shown time and again how dangerous of an offensive weapon he can be during his time at Michigan, but it could come down to much more than that to determine his stock in this year’s draft.
Like his father, Hardaway is an ultimate scoring threat. He can be deadly from 3-point range on any given night and has the ability to drive to the basket with ease. He has a great leaping ability that allows him to create separation between him and his defender on jumpers.
He’s also very quick and loves to get out in transition, finishing at a 66 percent rate in fast-break opportunities. Hardaway prefers to take shots against man defenses, which allows him to work his defender in one-on-one situations. Overall, he has dramatically increased his efficiency since he first put on a Michigan uniform. He thrives on catch-and-shoot opportunities.
Haradaway is also a pretty solid defender. He helped hold the fourth-leading scorer in the nation, South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters, to 10 points in the NCAA tournament by playing aggressive, in-your-face defense on Wolters all game long. Throughout the 2012-13 season, Hardaway held opponents to 33 percent shooting, a solid percentage.
Even though Hardaway is a great offensive weapon and he has a quick trigger on shot attempts, he often has too quick of a trigger. He’s too willingly to shoot early and often. He has a tendency to get himself into trouble with these situations.
This is also an issues with his inability to create shots for himself with his lack of a first step. Hardaway is not a top-notch athlete. He has some quality, but ruins it with his quantity in terms of shot selections. He has a tendency to shoot himself out of the game.
It’s not that Hardaway has an attitude problem, he has a confidence problem. By that meaning he has too much confidence in himself. This is his one major flaw. He plays at a level that exposes weaknesses. If he can hide them well enough, it won’t be a problem in the NBA. However, there are numerous defenders at the professional level that can reveal him for what he really is.
Nov. 23 vs. Kansas State (W 71-57) 23 points, 10-for-15 field goals, 1-for-3 3-point field goals, 2-for-4 free throws, seven rebounds
Tim Hardaway Jr. started off the 2012-13 season on a shooting tear and put it all together against a tough Kansas State team. He not only shot in volumes but he shot consistently, something that was rare for him this season. He limited his outside shot attempts and got easier looks closer to the basket. This is the type of shooting Hardaway excels in and can be an elite scorer when he does so.
Feb. 12 at Michigan State (L 75-52) Two points, 1-for-11 field goals, 0-for-5 3-point field goals, 0-for-0 free throws, four rebounds
Michigan as a whole played poorly in this particular game but Hardaway’s shooting performance was awfully disappointing. Hardaway tried to shoot himself out of his slump but nothing would fall. He forced the action and didn’t let the flow of the game come to him. Instead, he forced the issue, something he does frequently. Michigan State exposed him all game long and forced him out of his comfort zones.
Potential Landing Spots:
Tim Hardaway Jr. is a borderline first-round selection. He’s likely a top 20 selection but could fall into the early second round given different circumstances (team drafting, team needs, pre-draft workouts, etc.).
Teams That Make Sense:
Atlanta Hawks: One of the main reasons Atlanta was so successful for the past number of years was because they had the sharpshooting Jamal Crawford coming in and providing a spark for the offense. They haven’t had that since Crawford went to the Los Angeles Clippers. Having that extra offensive weapon off the bench such as Hardaway Jr. could be a huge boost for the Hawks, who are in desperate need of an identity.
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls don’t need a superstar, they just need some more role players to be able to help the cause. The playoffs have been an eye opening experience of how thin a roster can become due to injuries. Now, Chicago has come back strong from such injuries, but it’s always nice to have backup guys who can be key contributors, especially once Derrick Rose finally returns. Hardaway Jr. could be a key role player for the Bulls.
Most NBA teams are hoping Tim Hardaway Jr. becomes exactly like his father, long-time NBA player Tim Hardaway. Unfortuantely, that is unlikely to happen. So instead, they need to hope he becomes a quality player who can contribute in any way possible. Hardaway Jr. is willing to do such things, but his ability to succeed at it is questionable. He’ll get drafted, that’s not the question. The question is whether he will sink or swim once he’s thrown into the NBA.