Case for the Dallas Mavericks keeping Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Mavs lacked depth on the wing in the postseason as Reggie Bullocks and Dorian Finney-Smith each averaged over 38 minutes per game. In the biggest moments, head coach Jason Kidd had no other players to turn to, so both had to handle massive workloads.
Hardaway Jr. is a proven shooter and scorer that can provide instant offense whenever he is on the floor. The 30-year-old wing is a smart player that would have helped Dallas on the glass and made some key shots. He averaged over 17 points per game in both playoff series against the LA Clippers in 2020 and 2021. The Mavericks needed the scoring punch and shot-making, especially against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
Upgrading on the wing is going to priority this summer for Dallas. The Mavericks have a strong in-house option, despite his early-season struggles under first-year head coach Jason Kidd. Hardaway Jr. may not provide the defense Dallas is searching for, but players that can average 15-plus points per game on above league 3-point shooting are difficult to find.
The Dallas Mavericks are projected to be over the luxury tax next season as Luka Doncic’s extension kicks in, so their only avenue to significantly upgrading their roster is the trade market. If Dallas is going to acquire a second star, Tim Hardaway Jr. is likely one of the pieces headed back in return because of his salary and value across the league.