Dallas Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. came up on the rumor mill when Chris Fedor noted that the Cavaliers were interested on the Please Don’t Aggregate this podcast. Cleveland cannot trade a first-round pick, but they need more shooting and to upgrade their wing depth. Hardaway Jr. fits their needs, but are the Mavs willing to trade away one of their starters?
According to Marc Stein’s latest rumors (subscription required), Hardaway Jr. is available via trade. He even went as far as to say it is up to the Cavaliers if they want to take on the remainder of his contract. THJ is owed $34.1 million over two years after this season, and he does not become a free agent until 2025.
Dallas would love to get some flexibility as they look to build around Luka Doncic. The trade with Cleveland that makes the most sense would be Caris LeVert for Tim Hardaway Jr. and a second-round pick. LeVert is on an expiring contract, and he would give the Mavs some additional playmaking that they desperately need. Could Dallas get a better return elsewhere?
Rumors: Tim Hardaway Jr. is available: What can Dallas Mavericks get in return?
Hardaway Jr. is a proven shooter and scorer. Teams know that he can get hot and hit seven 3-pointers in a game. Microwave scorers have value, especially to teams that are in desperate need of shooting.
Trading THJ for LeVert makes sense for both sides, and that may be the best option for the Mavericks. LeVert is two years younger and gives Dallas future flexibility. Hardaway Jr. is a better shooter, but LeVert has the edge in ball-handling and playmaking.
Dallas has no interest in taking a step backward. They are not looking to deal Tim Hardaway Jr. for strictly draft capital. The Mavericks want to build a title contender around Luka Doncic. Upsetting their superstar by weakening their current roster is not on the agenda. Dallas wants to give him additional current help in any trade.
What will the Dallas Mavericks do before the Feb. 9 trade deadline? Do they trade Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Cavaliers? The Mavs will certainly be working the phones, and they are not afraid to be aggressive. Stay tuned to see what happens.