Hardaway's return has rejuvenated the Knicks' offense, but it helps to have his college teammate on board. Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Burke‘s performance in the two games since signing with the Knicks has given the team a “puzzle” at point guard, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Burke has exhibited instant chemistry with former college teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. and was used to close out Friday’s win in Utah.

“I can just read him on the floor anywhere, especially when he’s coming downhill,’’ Hardaway said. “Yeah, it was immediate. I kind of know his game so well. Even when I wasn’t playing with him the past couple of years, I definitely watched him in Utah, Washington. I still know what he can do on the court, and what he’s able to do both offensively and defensively. It felt like old times.”

The Knicks are giving Burke an audition to see if they want to bring him back for next season, Berman notes. The point guard position is unsettled with rookie Frank Ntilikina not ready to be a starter and veteran Jarrett Jack unlikely to return. Ramon Sessions was waived last week, and a trade with the Hornets for Kemba Walker remains a possibility.

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • Burke turned down a $3M offer from China and opted to play for the Knicks’ G League affiliate, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “[Knicks GM] Scott Perry, that’s my guy,” Burke said. “He told me he was going to give me an opportunity to come [to Westchester] and start there, and if I do what I do, he’ll give me an opportunity [with the Knicks]. Now we’re here, I just got to continue to get better.”
  • Hardaway has boosted the Knicks’ offense in the four games since returning to the lineup and is determined to make the playoffs, relays Al Iannazzone of Newsday. After missing about six weeks with a stress injury in his left leg, Hardaway is averaging 22 points per game and shooting 52.6% from the field since he started playing again. “I feel like with our group, we have that fire and that desire and in our heart [the goal] is to make the playoffs one hundred percent,” he said. “If we don’t make the playoffs, we’re going to go home in April upset.”
  • Finding a point guard before next month’s trade deadline remains among the Knicks’ priorities, along with a starter at the wing and a rim protector, Iannazzone notes in a separate story. He doesn’t expect the team to get all three, but it will be active in trade talks. He adds that the Knicks want to be aggressive in the 2019 free agent market and won’t be interested in Walker if it means taking one of Charlotte’s expensive, long-term contracts.
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This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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