How to screw up an offer sheet: Why the dumbest basketball team in New York is somehow not the one who gave up three lottery picks for one year of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Let me preface this article by saying that the Nets trade is probably the worst trade of all time and could have permanently set back the franchise. Lucky for Nets fans, if there are any left, Sean Marks has entered the front office and is slowly building a team that is completely devoid of assets. Meanwhile, the Knicks were in the playoffs in 2013 before Phil Jackson took over and ran the franchise into the ground. James Dolan briefly became a savior again by firing Jackson. All of the dysfunction for the Knicks is gone, right?
Of course not.
It appears the Knicks have zero clue what they are doing based on two decisions in the past week. First the Knicks decided to offer RFA Tim Hardaway Jr. a 4-year $71 million contract. Surprisingly for the Knicks, that may not even be the worst thing the franchise did this week. On Sunday it was announced that GM contract negotiations between David Griffin and the team broke down because Griffin wanted full basketball power and wanted to hire his own staff. Instead, the Knicks denied this request and decided to stick with the guys who offered TIM HARDAWAY JR. $71 MILLION.
The Knicks had to offer Hardaway more than his market value because he is a RFA and the Hawks could match any offer, however if you make a deal so bad that the Hawks do not even want, it you get stuck with the terrible contract. The contract also includes a 15 percent trade kicker so if the Knicks trade Hardaway, since they already traded him before, his salary goes up by 15 percent and it becomes even more toxic.
While the Knicks just offered the dumbest contract of the offseason for the second straight offseason, they gave Joakim Noah $72 million last year, the Nets are receiving praise by offering poison pill type contracts to restricted free agents like Otto Porter. It is not crazy to assume that, since the media is rightfully praising the Nets, the Knicks figured that it would be smart to also offer poison pill type contracts of their own. By offering so much money and obscure incentives, the Nets are either more likely to acquire the player or put opponents in the luxury tax if the teams decide to retain their players. The Knicks are dumb because they are in a very different phase as a franchise. The team has a centerpiece in Kristaps Porzingis, but the Knicks also have several bad contracts all ready on the team’s books. All the Hardaway deal does is hurt future flexibility. The Nets have zero assets and have to be creative space to acquire young talent, which means paying extra. By buying the Timofey Mozgov contract the Nets got D’angelo Russell and by buying the DeMare Carroll contract, the Nets got another first round pick.
The Knicks and Nets are headed in very separate directions and the Nets will be rewarded for their patience while the Knicks will stay, well, the Knicks.