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Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. makes surprising leap in ESPN NBA ranks

Dallas Mavericks, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Dallas Mavericks, Tim Hardaway Jr. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year $75 million deal this offseason. He became a crucial piece for Dallas after coming over from the Knicks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. THJ is an outstanding shooter and key shot creator that the Mavs need to be their third scorer this season.

Hardaway’s 3-point shooting improvement since coming to Dallas has been key. He has shot 39.4 percent over the last two seasons combined, thanks to an increase in catch and shoot triples playing next to Luka Doncic. THJ will be looking to take another step forward this year and shoot over 40 percent from three for the first time in his career.

ESPN released the first part of their NBArank on Sept. 21 with players 51 to 100. Hardaway Jr. vaulted into the rankings and was surprisingly high on the list. Let us take a closer look.

Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. makes surprising leap in ESPN NBArank

Hardaway Jr. landed 79th on the list this year. It was surprising to see him vault from unranked to that number, but it was deserved. THJ is a key shooter, scorer, and floor spacer on a team that has made two straight playoff appearances. Hardaway Jr. also made Sports Illustrated’s top 100 NBA players where he landed 96th.

It is fantastic to see the 29-year-old finally getting credit for his contributions. It will be interesting to see if his role changes under new head coach Jason Kidd. The Hall of Fame point guard has talked about the Mavs having more movement off the ball. How will that impact THJ’s game? It is something to watch as the regular season approaches.

Tim Hardaway Jr. was just the first of three Dallas Mavericks in the ESPN top 100 player rankings. Where will Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis fall on the list? Stay tuned to find out as they are released later this week.

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