Sources: Hawks pass on Knicks’ Hardaway offer

1:33 PM ET

The Atlanta Hawks will not match the four-year, $71 million offer sheet on restricted free-agent guard Tim Hardaway Jr., clearing the way for him to join the New York Knicks, league sources told ESPN on Saturday.

The Hawks plan to deliver official notification to the NBA and Knicks before the 48-hour deadline passes Saturday, league sources told ESPN.

League sources told ESPN that there has been nearly uniformed opinion within Atlanta ownership and management that the contract is simply too steep measured against the production and potential of Hardaway Jr.

The Knicks’ acquisition of Hardaway Jr., to the staggering deal is expected to trigger a renewed willingness to work with the Houston Rockets on trade scenarios to unload Carmelo Anthony, league sources told ESPN.

The Rockets have been persistent in their pursuit of Anthony, who is willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, league sources told ESPN.

The Knicks do not imagine a scenario where Hardaway Jr., is sharing the floor with Anthony to start the season, league sources told ESPN.

The Knicks’ offer sheet to Hardaway contains a 15 percent trade kicker and a player option in the fourth year, and it also includes an unusual provision requiring the team to pay 50 percent of Hardaway’s annual salary by Oct. 1 of every season, according to league sources.

The 6-foot-6 Hardaway had a breakout season in 2016-17 for Atlanta, scoring 14.5 points in 28 minutes per game.

ESPN’s Ian Begley contributed to this report.

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