Dallas Mavericks: Mark Cuban offers high praise for Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. Mark Cuban (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. Mark Cuban (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined WFAN in New York on May 20. He praised Tim Hardaway Jr. for his surprising contributions this season.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and GM Donnie Nelson have done a fantastic job flipping the script for the team. Many organizations go into a lengthy rebuild after a superstar retires. Dirk Nowitzki hung up the sneakers at the end of last season and the Mavs are on pace to the make the playoffs this year.

They did it on the back to two key trades. First, the Mavericks moved up in the 2018 NBA Draft to acquire Luka Doncic. It was immediately evident that he was the best player on the team. His special talent propelled the Mavs to trade for Kristaps Porzingis. He was not the only piece the Mavs received in that deal. Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke were also sent to Dallas.

Mark Cuban went on WFAN in New York on May 20. Mavs fans can listen to the entire interview here. Naturally, the trade was brought up. Cuban was “very” surprised at the package that got the deal done.

More. Looking back at the Porzingis trade after one year

Then, he was asked about the pairing of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavericks owner had this to say.

"“Yeah, I know. It is exciting and don’t sleep on Timmy Hardaway Jr. I mean Timmy, I think, has been the biggest surprise. We knew KP was good. We knew what the other guys can do, but Timmy now that he’s just catch and shoot has been lights out. Quickest release in the NBA. Probably one of the top-three catch and shoot players in all of the NBA now. It took a little while. Right after the trade, he wasn’t quite confident of his role and we were asking him to do different things than the Knicks did, but Luka getting him the ball, it’s just a sight to see. As much as we love KP and Courtney, getting Timmy has been a great step for us.”"

Hardaway Jr. is having a career year. He averages 15.8 points and 2.9 3-pointers made per game. THJ could always score. The massive boost is in his efficiency this season. Hardaway Jr. has hit 40.7 percent of his 3-pointers. It has jumped his effective field goal percentage to a career-high 55.4.

Hardaway Jr. is facing a massive decision this offseason. He has an $18.975 million player option for next season. Will he opt-in? Or search for a long-term deal on the open market? Do not be surprised to see the Mavericks give him a contract extension even if he accepts his player option. THJ has been an important part of their success this season. Stay tuned to see how it shakes out.

Grading Kristaps Porzingis' 2019-2020 season so far. Next