Tim Hardaway Jr. has notoriously teetered in production since he stepped foot in Dallas back in February 2019. Barring the highs and lows that he has had in Dallas, Hardaway Jr. has never been the most consistent player.
Before Hardaway Jr. got to Dallas, he was tasked with playing a pretty big role on a developing Knicks team. The counting stats looked good, but Hardaway Jr. shot below 35 percent from three in both seasons for New York and only 32.1 percent from downtown in the brief 19 games he played with Dallas during the 2018-19 season after the Kristaps Porzingis deal went through.
In a recent ranking of the 30 most overpaid players of all time concocted by HoopsHype, their staff writers Frank Urbina and Raul Barrigon ranked Tim Hardaway Jr. as the 28th most overpaid player of all time by their "real value" metric.
The "real value" metric is supposed to denote how worthy a player has been of the money they've received in their career from a production standpoint. Hardaway Jr. has supposedly been overpaid by about $58 million throughout his NBA career according to the real value metric.
Hardaway Jr. has obviously improved marginally since his time in New York and the half-season he played with Dallas in 2018-19. There have even been times since then that made fans question if Hardaway Jr. was the second-best player on the Mavericks' roster.
A lot of that talk was merely a product of its time, as the roster being spread too thin along with injuries to key players during crucial stretches being the most likely reason talks about Hardaway Jr. being the second-best Maverick even materialized.
Nonetheless, Hardaway Jr. has been able to place himself among the most long-tenured Mavericks on the team as he enters his sixth season in Dallas. His shooting and streakiness have undoubtedly kept the Mavericks in some games that they shouldn't have been in the last few years, but Hardaway Jr.'s below-average defense and inability to expand his offensive repertoire definitely will keep him in trade conversations this season with the Mavericks having a crowded backcourt as well as the need for a starting caliber center still.
Hardaway Jr. isn't invaluable whatsoever, and he's currently a giant luxury off the bench for this Mavericks team, but it's hard to argue with HoopsHype's assessment of him being the 28th-ranked most overpaid player of all time.
Hardaway Jr. was much more limited in his New York days beyond his shooting and has been fortunate to have really good seasons prior to his contract years both in 2016-17 and 2020-21. Hardaway Jr. probably didn't deserve two separate $70+ million deals throughout his NBA career, but at least he's improved marginally defensively and has become a better shooter (even if still very streaky) since he stepped foot in Dallas.
Luckily for Dallas, Hardaway Jr.'s contract depreciates each year and he's set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025. Hopefully, Dallas can cash in on Hardaway Jr.'s value while he is playing well next season, but if not, the Mavericks may have to stand pat for a while with Hardaway Jr. if he's viewed as a negative asset amidst an inconsistent stretch or something of that nature.
Most Mavs fans can agree with Tim Hardaway Jr.'s ranking as one of the most overpaid players of all time, especially since the NBA salary cap has inflated drastically in recent years. Only time will tell if this proves to be true throughout his whole career though, and Hardaway Jr. is poised to start training camp with Dallas here in the next few weeks.
We'll have you covered with all the latest news and rumors surrounding the Dallas Mavericks for the rest of this offseason and training camp, so stay tuned.