Hardaway stepped into a starting role and performed well

The Knicks tendered a four-year, $71 million offer sheet to Tim Hardaway, Jr. when they traded him two seasons ago to the Hawks for Jerian Grant.

Hardaway was drafted with the No. 24 pick in 2013, which was a reasonable place for him to go as a potential sharpshooting, athletic wing. He fell out of favor in New York during Phil Jackson’s tenure before he was traded, despite being just 22 years old.

After Kyle Korver was traded to Cleveland from Atlanta, Hardaway stepped into a starting role and performed well. He averaged 17.5 points per game and had a 111 offensive rating in Korver’s place. He earned himself a huge payday from his time.

It’s hard to decide who’s a real winner or loser in Toronto, who re-signed Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry on Sunday in an effort to bring the gang back. On one hand, the Eastern Conference keeps getting weaker and weaker. On the other, none of the top four teams — Cleveland, Boston, and Washington — got worse, and the Raptors couldn’t get past the second round last year. Why would this coming season be any different?

But Lowry (who signed for three years and $100 million) and Ibaka (three years, $65 million) both are clients of agent Andy Miller, so he must be a winner for orchestrating $165 million headed to a couple of his players.

Part of the reason is that this was a particularly down season for centers — Nerlens Noel and Pau Gasol were the top options on the market entering July. A second reason the collective centers’ payday has been so pitiful is that the top options (including Noel and Gasol) have yet to sign contracts. By my assessment, only Cheap Official Jerseys eight of the top 50 free agents were centers. Of those, only Cheap Patriots Jerseys three — Kelly Olynyk, Dewayne Dedmon, and Nene — have signed deals.

Behind the slow processing of the centers this summer is the truth of the matter: Centers really don’t matter that much any more. The position has been de-emphasized in the modern NBA.