Dallas Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr.’s future role with the Mavs

Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Tim Hardaway Jr. could be a positive contributor for the Dallas Mavericks next season if given the opportunity and could help launch the Mavs into the future.

The Dallas Mavericks have a lot to think about this offseason and have a lot of options for possible free agents. However, based on previous history, the Mavericks haven’t had much success at landing big fish. Instead, they usually play the smaller market and get some notable names. Hopefully this year will be different but rather than focus on that, lets’ focus on one specific player they have who could be beneficial for next year, Tim Hardaway Jr.

Now, the biggest concern for THJ is the ridiculous amount of money he’s to be paid from his New York Knicks contract. He is due a little over $18 million over each of the next two years (with a player option after next season), making him the current highest paid Maverick. Rather than focus on that, let’s focus on his play.

In a season that saw him take on the main role in New York with Kristaps Porzingis recovering from an ACL injury, to being in one of the biggest trades in Mavericks history, to taking the end of the season off with an injury that required surgery, and now in the recovery process, THJ averaged 18.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists on teams that were seen plagued by injuries.

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In New York, he played a main role that he’s not fit to play, and in Dallas, the Mavericks saw a key contributor in J.J. Barea go down with an achilles injury, Porzingis still wasn’t playing, and again THJ was asked to do more in his role. Although he was a starter right off the bat, he played inconsistent most of the time.

Now here’s the good part, with Porzingis looking to play alongside Luka Doncic next season, the potential of signing some role players next year, and JJ Barea coming back, THJ could find a great role in the 1st unit, or even thrive in the second, running, facilitating and scoring with JJ and Brunson (who also had a great second half of the season).

In the first unit, most of the play will run through Doncic, Porzingis and whoever else they pay money to sign, be it Kemba Walker, Patrick Beverley, or Nikola Vucevic, just to name a few, so it’ll be hard for THJ to get the ball.

In the second unit, you would see the likes of JJ Barea, Jalen Brunson, Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber and in this unit, THJ could really thrive. Those 15 to 18 points could be crucial and make the Mavericks one of the deepest benches in the NBA. Especially come playoff time when other teams only rotate 6-8 players, a deep bench could be beneficial.

THJ could really reach his player potential and even come in at crucial times to help with scoring, whether he be the 6th man, or helping run the second unit. As stated earlier, him being the main man is not what he does best. Even as the second option when he came to Dallas didn’t work out for him. So being a third and even a fourth option could go a long way for him.

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Coming back to the main point, although he is getting paid a lot of money, he could make a big impact considering how young he is and his scoring ability. Carlisle has a proven track record of helping players achieve their potential, even if it comes at a hefty price, so expect THJ to have a breakout season next year.