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Hardaway began last season in the starting five before Reggie Bullock replaced him in the unit Dec. 1. Though his workload decreased by seven minutes per game while coming off the bench, his stats didn't suffer much, and he increased his efficiency. However, a fractured foot in late January cut his season short at just 42 games. It was a challenging year for fantasy managers who rostered Hardway. In addition to the missed time, he shot poorly from the field, hitting just 39.7 percent of his field goals - the second worst of his career - and 75.7 percent of his free throws - the worst of his career. This season, Hardaway figures to appear off the bench again, with Christian Wood also checking in after tipoff. The two could form an intriguing bench unit, and Hardaway may get more involved in some additional two-man game. When coming off the bench last year, the 30-year-old averaged 13.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 26.2 minutes. If his overall play improves from last season, Hardaway may have back-end standard league relevance, though he'll still probably be best as a streaming option rather than someone to invest in on draft day.
Hardaway played in 70 games during his second full season in Dallas, averaging 16.6 points in 28.4 minutes per game. The 6-foot-5 wing shot 44.7 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from three and 81.6 percent from the free-throw line. It marked the second straight season that Hardaway shot over 39.0 percent from three after never shooting above 36.0 percent during his previous five years in the NBA. The playmaking abilities of Luka Doncic clearly opened up space for the Michigan product to get plenty of good looks from distance. While Hardaway is an efficient -- and occasionally prolific -- scorer, he doesn't impact the game in other areas. He has never tallied more than 4.0 rebounds or 3.0 assists and has only surpassed 1.0 steals per game once in his career. This lack of production has caused Hardaway to never finish inside the top 100 in total fantasy production. His scoring ability alone makes him an intriguing streaming option, but unless you catch him on a hot streak, his production may be meager. The Mavericks brought in Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown in free agency, but neither should steal playing time away from the ex-Wolverine. It is safe to expect more of the same from Hardaway during the 2021-22 season.
Hardaway started 58 games for Dallas last season. His role and production were overall quite similar to what they were in 19 games for the Mavericks following his mid-season trade from the Knicks the year prior. His minutes per game increased by the smallest possible margin from 29.4 to 29.5, while his points per game rose from 15.5 to 15.8. How he got to those points changed somewhat significantly. His usage rate dropped to 21.1 percent, his lowest rate since 2015-16, but he was more efficient with his possessions than ever, posting a career-high .550 effective field goal percentage. That was driven by a career-best 39.8 percent shooting percentage from downtown, well above his 34.0 percent rate from the previous season. As usual, he didn't do much other than score, providing just 3.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.6 steals per game, but there's always a place in the game for a scorer who can be fairly efficient at a fairly high volume. There's downside here if Hardaway's three-point gains regress, but he should still be a useful enough real-life and fantasy option unless it completely craters.
While Hardaway averaged a career-high 18.1 points per game last season, most of that damage was done during his 46 appearances with the Knicks to start the regular season. Then, Hardaway was included in the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade, which sent him to Dallas along with the seven-footer. In Dallas, Hardaway appeared in 19 games, making 17 starts and averaging 15.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists across 29.4 minutes per game. And in what has become typical Hardaway fashion throughout his career, the swingman didn't reach those numbers in the most efficient manner, shooting 32.1 percent from three and 40.4 percent from the field overall while in with the Mavericks. Hardaway, however, is still a decent three-point shooter for his career, going 34.3 percent from deep over the course of his six NBA seasons. And with the Mavericks not exactly boasting great depth on the wing, Hardaway, who has seen his scoring averages increase every year since 2016, is in line to open the season as the team's starter at small forward and play a fairly significant role for them in 2019-20. But he will likely be bumped down to the team's third option offensively with the return of Porzingis.
Following a breakout season in Atlanta, the Knicks opted to fork over a four-year, $71 million contract offer to Hardaway, which he quickly accepted without much thought considering he wasn't going to get anywhere near that number elsewhere in the league. While it was largely considered the biggest overpay of that year's free agency period, Hardaway still became one of the Knicks' top options offensively, especially after Kristaps Porzingis went down with a torn ACL and missed the second half of the year. However, Hardaway himself dealt with some injuries as well, missing a stretch of 20 straight games due to a leg injury. That said, when he was on the court, the 26-year-old set career highs across the board, averaging 17.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals across 33.1 minutes. In addition, he continued to be a respected deep ball threat, knocking down 2.3 three-pointers per game. Hardaway likely frustrated owners with his percentages, shooting 42.1 percent from the field and just 31.7 percent from beyond the arc, but his strong totals elsewhere did make up for it a bit. Looking forward to the upcoming campaign, Hardaway once again has a big opportunity ahead of him. Porzingis is still in the middle of his recovery and is looking at a return in December at the earliest. That means Hardaway is going to have the ball in his hands quite often right away and could have the chance to potentially see a slight increase in his numbers across the board. Efficiency issues will continue to linger and there are some injury concerns, but with a high usage role expected, look for Hardaway to crack the top-100 once again for most Fantasy leagues.
Hardaway was arguably the biggest surprise for the Hawks during the 2016-17 season. After averaging just 16.9 minutes a year prior, he developed quickly as a scorer, earning a huge boost in playing time to 27.3 minutes per game. Hardaway started 30 of the 79 games he played in, resulting in career highs across the board of 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.9 three-pointers. He shot a respectable 45.5 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from deep, though he struggled as a free-throw shooter and hit a career-low 76.6 percent from the charity stripe. The Hawks were expected to retain the restricted free agent this offseason, but the Knicks ended up offering an unexpected four-year, $70.9 million contract. The Hawks refused to match the offer, one that was much higher than most expected Hardaway to get, which places him in a rather advantageous position moving forward in New York. Despite joining a team that's unlikely to make the playoffs, Carmelo Anthony is likely on the way out, which leaves Kristaps Porzingis as one of just a few scoring options for the Knicks. That means Hardaway is going to step into a starting role right away and will likely get the green light immediately to take his shots. The starter's workload and the added opportunity to become one of the leading scorers on the Knicks should mean big things are to come for Hardaway. That said, he'll largely be a points and a three-point specialist in terms of his Fantasy value, as he'll need to show vast improvement in his all-around production before becoming one of the elite shooting guard options in the league.
Acquired last June from the Knicks, Hardaway struggled to distinguish himself with the Hawks in the early stages of the 2015-16 season. A poor preseason kept Hardaway out of coach Mike Budenholzer's rotation to start the campaign and resulted in the young guard making a few stops in the D-League, but he finally developed into a trusted bench option when the calendar turned to 2016. From Jan. 5 until the end of the regular season, Hardaway averaged 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 three-pointer in 17.4 minutes per game while shooting a palatable 44 percent from the floor. A hamstring injury would limit Hardaway's involvement in the postseason, but the 24-year-old nonetheless established himself as one of the team's top reserve scorers heading into the upcoming season. Hardaway will likely serve as the Hawks' first or second guard off the bench in 2016-17, providing Budenholzer with another offensive-minded option if starting shooting guard Kyle Korver's shot isn't falling early in games.
In his second season, Hardaway had averages of 11.5 points on 10.2 field goal attempts, 1.7 three-pointers, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.3 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 24 minutes per game through 70 regular season games with the Knicks. Hardaway shot 39 percent from the floor, 34 percent from downtown, and 80 percent from the foul line. Traded on draft-day this summer in exchange for the rights to select Jerian Grant, Hardaway's role with the Hawks in 2015-16 may very well be as a reserve. However, the fact that Hardaway is a solid perimeter shooter who raised his assist average from 0.8 as a rookie to 1.8 as a sophomore bodes well for his fit on a squad that's known for sharing the ball and spacing the floor.
The 24th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Hardaway enjoyed a promising debut campaign last season that earned him a First-Team All-Rookie selection. In 81 games played, Hardaway averaged 10.2 points in 23 minutes per game, while converting 36 percent of his three-point attempts en route to 130 triples on the season. As the year unfolded, Hardaway's penchant for coming off the bench and providing an offensive spark became more evident. While starting shooting guard Iman Shumpert frustrated offensively, Hardaway was given the green light to fire from outside and ended the season as the most accurate three-point shooter among rookies that made at least 55 three-pointers. His progress carried over to summer league play in Las Vegas, where Hardaway finished second in scoring with 22.8 points per game in five appearances during July. Such development has Hardaway slated for a larger role under new Knicks' coach Derek Fisher this season. Fisher's Triangle offense values outside shooting in creating floor spacing, which coincides perfectly with Hardaway's game. In fact, leading up to the season, Hardaway should compete for a place in the Knicks' starting lineup. Although he's gifted athletically, he will need to show improvement on defense and could improve his all-around game to become less one-dimensional. Nonetheless, Hardaway represents an intriguing, high-upside scorer going into his second season.
The Knicks selected Hardaway in the first round of the draft to provide them with yet another quality offensive option off their bench. He should provide a nice scoring punch, but his fantasy value will be limited because he will likely see limited minutes. However, with Smith out of action to start the season, Hardaway could see more minutes than expected to start, which provides him with the opportunity to carve out a solid role off the bench.