Whatever direction the Dallas Mavericks decide to go with veteran shooter Tim Hardaway Jr. next season, we expect his situation to have a positive impact. If the Mavs trade him, it’ll probably be because it was an obvious type of deal. If they keep him, he should have a rebound year based on how the previous two seasons before the last one went.
Last season, Hardaway Jr. played 42 games before undergoing surgery to repair a broken foot. He averaged 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists, but was unable to convert his regular clip to depth. He shot just 33.6% from beyond the arc after shooting a total of 39.4% the previous two seasons.
Although the Mavs have apparently suspended Hardaway Jr. in trade talks since February, they aren’t just looking to get rid of his salary, which would likely mean having to give up a capital project. In fact, if the Mavs can’t get what they want for Hardaway Jr., they’re more than willing to play next season with his sixth-man production returning to the bench.
“Dallas folks both said we were excited about Tim Hardaway Jr., theoretically, being our big off-season addition coming back from injury. He’s going to be back. They also explored the trade market for him at deadline and again this summer, so it’s definitely a name they’ve brought up on other teams,” Jake Fischer said on the Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast.
“He hasn’t played in a year, and he still has a lot of money left on that deal, and there’s a general feeling around the NBA that AAV salaries over $15 for shooters are somehow so become negative contracts.”
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Although Hardaway Jr. still has three years left on his contract, the amount he will earn each year is shrinking. It will earn $19.6 million in 2022-23, $17.9 million in 2023-24 and $16.2 million in 2024-25.
Hardaway Jr. may not be seen as a positive trade asset right now, but depending on how the first half of next season unfolds, that perception could change by the February deadline.
Either way, he should help the Mavs move forward in a positive way. It’s hard for us to see a guy who’s shot nearly 40% from deep for two straight seasons follow that up with two straight seasons at 33% from deep.
You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg
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