by: Matt Kamalsky - Director of Operations, Mike Schmitz
May 30, 2013
Tim Hardaway is a talented scorer whose inconsistency has made him one of the more enigmatic prospects in this draft. Where does he stand after a productive junior season for a much-improved Michigan team?
After getting off to a fast start to his college career as a freshman, Tim Hardaway Jr took a step back as a sophomore, falling into a shooting slump that lasted nearly the entire season. Returning to Ann Arbor for his junior year, the hope was that Hardaway would find his stroke and team with Trey Burke and talented crop of newcomers to help Michigan live up to its #5 preseason ranking.
Finishing as the Wolverines' second leading scorer, Hardaway indeed played a key role for a Michigan team that made it all the way to the National Championship game. Knocking down 37% of his shots from beyond the arc, Hardaway bounced back from the 28% he shot as a sophomore, but his two-point percentage dipped from 54% to 48%, something that has become a trend for the Florida native over the last three seasons. At different points in Hardaway's career he's been both a highly effective and below average finisher, midrange shooter, and spot-up threat, never really stringing together consistency in any one area for a prolonged period.
'10-'11 Catch and Shoot
'11-'12 Catch and Shoot
'12-'13 Catch and Shoot
'10-'11 Pull-Up Jumper
'11-'12 Pull-Up Jumper
'12-'13 Pull-Up Jumper
'10-'11 Runners and Around Rim
'11-'12 Runners and Around Rim
'12-'13 Runners and Around Rim
Some of Hardaway's struggles were due to his less than stellar shot selection. Others were the byproduct of the level of opposing defenses he faced on a nightly basis in the Big Ten. There were more than a few occasions though, where he simply had a hard time firing on all cylinders, including the 2013 Tournament where he made 38.2% of his three-point attempts but shot just 37.2% inside the arc.
Despite his inconsistency, there is no questioning Hardaway's overall size, talent, skill level, and the body of work he's put together over the course of his college career. He's a well-rounded weapon who can stretch the floor, get out on the fast break with his athleticism, make smart passes, and put the ball on the floor to score.
Most of his offense this season came in spot-up situations, with catch and shoot jump shots accounting for nearly 40% of his field goal attempts in the half court according to Synergy Sports Technology. Getting great elevation on his jumper and shooting the ball with fluid mechanics, Hardaway made 44% of his unguarded spot-up shots in 2013. Though he made just 31.5% of his pull-up jump shots as a junior, Hardaway has proven that he can also use his dribble to find open space and score off the bounce from the perimeter.
The Florida native's range and confidence as a jump shooter will serve him well at the next level, as his ability to spread the floor and be effective as a complementary option will align itself well with the role he'll likely be expected to play. A capable straight-line slasher who can attack holes in the defense and take the corner when he has a step on his man, Hardaway is a solid athlete, but isn't the type of shifty or explosive slasher who will be asked to consistently create one-on-one or on the pick and roll early in his career.
Around the basket, Hardaway is a fairly reliable finisher. He can play above the rim and finish with finesse around defenders. He does an adequate job drawing contact on the occasions he does attack the rim, though shots around the rim in the half court account for less than 14% of his attempts, a testament to his shot-selection and average advanced ball-handling skills. Hardaway does his best work as a finisher in transition where he finds contact more consistently, and was effective last season both pushing the ball himself and running on the wings. Connecting on 70% of his free throw attempts, a career worst, it would be nice to see Hardaway take fewer difficult pull-ups and be more aggressive in attacking the rim.
Defensively, Hardaway has the tools to be an effective pro. He lacks great length, possessing only a 6'7 wingspan, and won't create many turnovers, but his 6'6 near-200 pound frame, coupled with his very good overall athleticism and competitiveness, give him plenty of promise as a capable NBA player on this end of the floor. His ability to stay dialed in on this end of the floor and consistently deny dribble penetration one-on-one will be the keys to his ability to hold his own early on, as he tended to lose focus very easily at Michigan and didn't seem to put major emphasis on stopping his man in long stretches.
Tim Hardaway Jr will have plenty of opportunities to climb draft boards in workouts considering how up in the air the hierarchy at the shooting guard position is after Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo. Already impressing teams with his performance at the NBA Combine in Chicago, Hardaway could certainly be the player to stake claim to that position in the coming weeks in workouts. There's little question that he is an NBA talent. The question for Hardaway moving forward is whether he can become the efficient contributor he's capable of on a consistent basis.
Physicals Height: 6' 5" Weight: 189 lbs. Birthday: 02/11/1993 23 Years Old Teams: High School: Oak Hill Academy Previous Team: Kings , PRO Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 2013 Draft by the Kings Positions: Current: SG, NBA: SG, Possible: SG Quick Stats: 5.5 Pts, 1.3 Rebs, 0.6 Asts