Dallas Mavericks: What does Tim Hardaway Jr. do with his player option?
Why Tim Hardaway Jr. should accept his player option and return to the Dallas Mavericks
Offering Hardaway Jr. a long-term contract eliminates the Mavs from having significant cap space in 2021. It is no secret that they want to target a marquee free agent. Adding one helps them instantly jump into annual title contention. The front office is unlikely to throw that chance away by locking in THJ long-term.
That means his only avenue to return to the Mavericks next season is accepting his player option. The 28-year-old was back in the playoffs for the first time since 2017. He had arguably his best NBA season in Dallas. Hardaway Jr. proved he can thrive as a spot-up shooter too.
The cap situation for this offseason is uncertain. The league lost a lot of revenue during the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is expected the numbers will hold where they were this season. That means only a handful of teams will have room to add a big-money free agent. All of those are rebuilding organizations picking in the lottery.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is unlikely to get more money for next season on the open market. He can maximize his yearly earnings while having another stellar season in Dallas. THJ would hit the open market again in 2021 with plenty of suitors. It is a gamble that he can stay healthy and prove this season was no fluke, but the 28-year-old should be able to do that playing next to Luka Doncic.
Next: Why he opts out