The Dallas Mavericks are preparing to kick off the 2024 season in the coming weeks following an active offseason. Their most notable moves were retaining All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who they acquired from the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline. They also made a trade to acquire defensive specialist Grant Williams from the Boston Celtics.
But even after a frenetic offseason, the Mavs are still making tough decisions as it pertains to their roster. Head coach Jason Kidd says he is hoping that Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. will “accept” a role off of Dallas’ bench.
“That’s something we’ll talk about, being able to carry that second group,” Kidd said to reporters on September 30 via Sports Illustrated. “We’re looking at Timmy being the sixth man, and hopefully, he accepts that role.”
Jason Kidd Makes Bold Prediction on Mavs’ Guard
Last season, Hardaway started in 45 of the 71 games he appeared in for the Mavericks. He was one of their more solid players, averaging 14.4 points per game and shooting a scorching 38.5 percent from beyond the arc.
But the Mavericks are already guard heavy, and keeping Hardaway in the mix could crowd their offense. However, having his level of production as a spark plug off the bench could make their offense even more dangerous.
During an appearance on 97.1 The Freak with NBA insider Marc Stein, Kidd said he believes that if he accepts the role, Hardaway Jr. could be in the running to win NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
“I’m excited again for Timmy, looking to talk to him about being Sixth Man of the Year,” Kidd said to Stein via Sports Illustrated. “That would help our team and put us in a really good seat if he’s up for Sixth Man of the Year. I think he’s capable of doing that.”
However, the Mavericks coach noted that although Hardaway may not begin the season in the starting lineup, that does not mean he won’t see time in a starting role later this season.
“But that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be times throughout the season that he will start,” Kidd added. “When you look at the past Sixth Man of the Year candidates, they’ve also started at different matchups.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. Responds to Kidd’s Comments
Something else to consider is that the All-Star pairing of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving will already have much of the guard duties handled. And having high-level defenders on the floor to start the game is much more of a priority for the Mavericks. Although he may not be in the starting role , Hardaway Jr. still expects to be an asset for the Mavericks this coming season.
“You guys heard it first from him,” Hardaway said to reporters on Media Day in response to Kidd’s comments.
“I’m a hybrid, I guess, at this point in my career. Whether I start or come off the bench, I’m not going to be the one to have an ego or anything like that. It doesn’t get you anywhere. I’m just here to win games, just like the rest of the guys out there on this team. And any other thought is kind of a waste of energy.”