Morning Shootaround

Shootaround (Aug. 19) -- Tim Hardaway Jr.'s second act in New York brings excitement Staff

This morning’s headlines:

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Hardaway’s second act with Knicks excites Houston — Count Allan Houston, former Knicks star turned front office executive, among those who are fired up to see Tim Hardaway Jr. return to Madison Square Garden this season. Houston believes the former Knicks draft pick is primed for a breakout effort in his seconds stint in New York, as Thomas Lipe of the New York Post explains:

Hardaway signed a four-year, $71 million contract this offseason to return to the Knicks, the team that drafted him in the first round in 2013.

With the big contract, however, comes added pressure and expectations for the shooting guard. Nevertheless, Houston said he believes Hardaway is ready to handle it.

“I’m excited for [Hardaway],” Houston told The Post. “When you’re 20 years old and you’re coming into this environment, everybody has to grow and everybody has to mature. He’s developed all the way around and he’s prepared himself for this. So he’s prepared for it.”

Houston certainly has been able to see first hand the level of maturing Hardaway has undergone. Houston was part of the Knicks’ front office that originally drafted him out of Michigan.

With Hardaway gearing up to enter the first year of the big contract, Houston remembered what is was like when he was preparing to start playing under his six-year, $100 million guaranteed contract.

“The mindset I took is: you come in, you put your work in, you treat your whole being, your whole life, like you want to make the most out of it,” Houston said. “You want to be valuable, not in terms of money, but you want to be valuable to your family, your community, to the franchise. That’s where [Hardaway’s] mindset is.”

Houston joined the Knicks in 1996 as a free-agent shooting guard. Then in 2001, Houston got his big money contract.

During the first two seasons of his $100 million contract, Houston produced his two highest scoring totals of his career, including his career high 22.5 points per game in the 2002-2003 season.

Hardaway currently is coming off his most productive season in the NBA, recording career highs in points per game (14.5), field-goal percentage (45.5) and assists (2.3).

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A Wade reunion in Miami? — It doesn’t matter how many times it gets debunked between now and the start of training camp, as long as there is a sliver of hope that Dwyane Wade could somehow find his way back to Miami, it’ll continue to generate headlines in Heat country. Rumblings of a potential buyout in Chicago has produced quite a bit of interest in Wade’s next move among observers in Miami, his old stomping grounds. Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald dives in:

Heat captain Udonis Haslem told WQAM on Thursday morning he speaks with Wade every day. Haslem and Wade have been close friends since they entered the league together with the Heat and go on a sneaker promotional tour in China every summer.

“My advice to him is, ‘Hey, we’d love to have you, but take it one step at a time, take it one day at a time, and be involved with what’s going on with your family,” Haslem said. “I think the situation with Chicago and everything that’s going on, it’s just a frustrating situation on both sides.”

The Heat has six guards led by Waiters, point guard Goran Dragic, sixth man Tyler Johnson, three-point specialist Wayne Ellington, and defensive-minded and talented three-point shooters Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder.

If there’s one player the Heat could end up parting with thus creating room in the rotation for Wade, its likely Johnson, whose contract will balloon from $5.8 million this coming season to $18.9 million the following season.

Wade averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists for Chicago last season.

He also angered the Bulls locker room when he and Jimmy Butler called out teammates after a loss. They responded by saying they wanted Wade to practice more. Butler was traded on draft night, two days after Wade told the Bulls he was picking up his option for the upcoming season.

Assuming he’s bought out, Wade would have interest from some other teams besides the Heat.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, who are likely going to trade disgruntled All-Star guard Kyrie Irving before the start of the season, could make a push for Wade to try and make LeBron James happy in what some are saying will be his final season in Cleveland. With Irving gone, Wade could help fill a scoring role.

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Bucks guard Brogdon speaks on Charlottsville — Much has been made of the comments that stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and others in the wake of last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va. But few can offer the perspective of Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, whose time as a student and star athlete at the University of Virginia provided him with an inside look at the city and university in the eye of the storm. He spoke on it earlier this week with Sports Illustrated, relayed by Matt Velasquez of the Journal Sentinel:

In the video interview, he was first asked to express his feelings about seeing his alma mater in the middle of this incident.

“Honestly for me it was pretty shocking,” Brogdon said. “To see this in a place that I call home is sort of jarring for me. But if I were to be honest, (with) the level of hate and blatant racism that still dominate the minds of so many Americans today, it’s not shocking to me. I think at the end of the day you have to call it what it is. I think this is white supremacy and I think it’s domestic terrorism.

“I think we live in a country where we go overseas and we fight other people’s wars and we fight terrorism overseas internationally, but we don’t want to fully acknowledge the terrorism that goes on domestically. I think it’s a shocking event, but it’s not surprising … the hate that is still around.”

During the five-minute interview, Brogdon also shared his opinion regarding Confederate monuments, including a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville near UVA’s campus. Debate surrounding the Lee statue ignited strong feelings, which culminated in this weekend’s rally and counterprotest.

“My thoughts about it have never changed,” Brogdon said. “I’m a person that thinks things should not be glorified that did not do the country any justice. For example, these statues, I think they stand still but all they do is divide people. At this point in time, I think America needs to be unified and the statues are clearly something that’s not unifying people. It’s going to continue to create a divide within our communities and I think they have no place in our society right now.”

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Former Hawks and Timberwolves forward Adrian Payne resurfacing in Orlando? … Pau Gasol tweets out support for the people impacted by the violence in his native Spain … Garrett Temple’s unique take on the issues dominating the headlines around the country today … One man’s journey into Portland’s past produces his Trail Blazers’ treasure … They are still leading with LeBron and the Cavaliers in Cleveland, even with the Browns in season … Kawhi against the Klaw in China.


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