Dallas Mavericks: Grading Tim Hardaway Jr. signing
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks quickly agreed to a new contract with Tim Hardaway Jr. on Aug. 2. The 29-year-old was an unrestricted free agent, but the Mavs made re-signing their top priority. According to Shams Charania, the new deal is a four-year $72 million pact.
Dallas acquired Hardaway Jr. as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade with the New York Knicks in 2019. He was New York’s leading scorer prior to the the deal as KP recovered from ACL surgery. THJ struggled and had season-ending surgery after to coming to Dallas in 2019. In the two years since Hardaway Jr. has arguably been the Mavericks’ second-best player behind Luka Doncic. He improved his jumper and efficiency tremendously in Dallas.
The Mavs viewed him as a key piece moving forward and quickly locked him into a new deal. How should fans view the move? What grade should the organization get for Hardaway’s new contract? Let us take a closer look.
Grading the Dallas Mavericks agreeing to a new contract with Tim Hardaway Jr.
Most experts viewed Hardaway Jr. as a salary dump when he came from New York to Dallas. At the time, he was on a four-year $71 million contract that had a 15 percent trade kicker.
The 6’5 wing has changed his perception in Dallas. THJ became more efficient and turned into a lethal catch-and-shoot option. He connected on 39.4 percent of his 1,042 3-point attempts over the last two seasons combined. The Mavericks need shooters and floor spacers flanking Luka Doncic. Hardaway Jr. complements the Mavs superstar and gives them a steady third scorer.
ESPN predicted the salaries (subscription required) of every free agents this offseason. They had Hardaway Jr. at a starting rate of $14-16 million, meaning the Mavs slightly overpaid. Profitx had this to say about the deal.
The Mavericks had to bring THJ back. They were not replacing his production if he found a new home in free agency. Dallas wants to add a marquee free agent alongside him, but they were not convincing two big names to play for the Mavs. They needed Hardaway Jr. back, and they paid fair market value to get him.
Dallas Mavericks grade for agreeing to re-sign Tim Hardaway: A-
The Mavs quickly re-signed an important piece of their roster in free agency. They were confident that a deal would be reached, but teams never know until the agreement is in place (and every once in a while things fall apart before signing too). Dallas was ecstatic to get Tim Hardaway Jr. back on a long-term deal.
The Dallas Mavericks did not get a discount or land him on some unbelievable contract. They agreed to a deal at his market value. It was not a home run, but the Mavs earned an A-minus for quickly locking in Tim Hardaway Jr. before he agreed to play elsewhere.
The Dallas Mavericks still have rosters spots to fill and are hoping to land a marquee free agent. The Smoking Cuban will be back with news and analysis on every move, so please check back with us often for all the latest.