Considered a steal in the 2013 draft, Hardaway Jr. averaged 10.2 points per game and shot 36% from three-point range and scored in double digits 40 times despite coming off the bench in all but one of 81 game appearances. According to the team, he is just the 10th rookie selected 24th or later to make the NBA All Rookie first team in the last 20 years.
Several teams asked the team about Hardaway Jr. during the trade deadline, but he was deemed untouchable by the team’s front office. The 22-year-old displayed a great ability to score in bunches off the bench. Though his effort on the defensive end was suspect, his offensive production provided the Knickerbockers with a much needed boost at various points this year.
Even though Michael Carter Williams was named the Rookie of the Year, Hardaway Jr. got some great respect for his strong season with a one first place vote.