When the New York Knicks drafted Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft fans were excited. However, there were also questions about how buried on the draft chart he'd be. As it turns out, Hardaway Jr. had plenty of playing time and proved to be a real threat on the NBA level.
According to the experts, this wasn’t a great rookie class. In fact, you might think there were no good players at all in this draft class if you'd listen to the NBA experts talk about the upcoming draft class.
Let's just get it out of the way, there's probably a few future All-Stars in this group. If not, there's certainly some strong rotation players who can help their teams for years to come.
125 media members voted on which guys had the best rookie seasons. The NBA announced its All-Rookie teams and two players from the Big Apple made the First Team. These were the results:
NBA All-Rookie First Team
Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers
Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic
Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz
Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets
Tim Hardaway Jr. of your New York Knicks
NBA All-Rookie Second Team
Kelly Olynyk of the Boston Celtics
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks
Gorgui Dieng of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets)
Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder
Hardaway Jr. became the 17th Knicks player to make the NBA All-Rookie Team. They've had three in the past four seasons. Landry Fields was named to the First Team in 2011, Iman Shumpert was named to the First Team in 2012 and now Hardaway Jr. in 2014.
In fact, Hardaway Jr. became just the 10th player to be named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in the past 20 years who was drafted 24th or lower.
Furthermore, Hardaway Jr. and his father Tim Hardaway Sr. are only the second father/son combination to have both been named NBA All-Rookie First Team selections. The other was Mychal Thompson and current Golden State Warriors shooting guard/small forward Klay Thompson.
Hardaway Jr. averaged 10.2 points per game this season. That was good enough for fourth-best among all rookies. He was also able to shoot 36.3 percent from three-point range this season.
Furthermore, Hardaway Jr. only made one start this season but received 23.2 minutes per game which was sixth best amongst rookies. He even shot 82.8 percent from the free throw line.
He was also able to score double figures in 40 games this season. In fact, he opened up some eyes around the league when he scored 36 points in the Rising Stars Challenge on NBA All-Star Weekend.
Hardaway Jr. finish fifth in the Rookie of the Year balloting. His lone first-place vote Steve Kerr — then a TNT analyst, now the coach of the Golden State Warriors.
Hardaway injured himself in the summer league last season. He sprained his wrist and was forced out of action until training camp. At Phil Jackson's request, Hardaway will be playing in the Las Vegas summer league in July.
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