Mavericks Could Ditch Tim Hardaway, Jr. Contract for Wing Depth, Insider Says

Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks

Getty Tim Hardaway Jr. #11 of the Dallas Mavericks.

There are a few different routes that the Dallas Mavericks can take ahead of the trade deadline. On one hand, the team could go star hunting, looking for a veritable number two to pair with superstar Luka Doncic. On the other, the team could stand pat with the roster it has, one that’s done well to get the team to the number four spot in the Western Conference.

But what about door number three? Dallas could ostensibly improve on the margins, looking for solid contributors outside of a long-term contract commitment that still boosts the team’s playoff ceiling.

And according to NBA insider Marc Stein, that’s just the track Dallas might take, especially when it comes to a potential Tim Hardaway, Jr. swap.

“League sources have reaffirmed to me that Hardaway is indeed available and that it’s essentially up to the Cavaliers if they are prepared to take on the two years and $34.1 million left on Hardaway’s contract beyond this season,” Stein wrote on Monday. “Caris LeVert’s expiring $18.8 million contract is the simplest match for Hardaway, who has emerged from a very slow start to shoot 40.5% from 3-point range in 21 games entering Sunday’s play since Mavericks coach Jason Kidd moved him into the starting lineup.”

There’s much to like about LeVert, including the fact that Dallas could get out from under his contract as soon as this summer. The former Brooklyn Nets star could serve as a short-term mentor to Dallas’ younger stable of wings: Josh Green, Frank Ntilikina, and Jaden Hardy.

Add in the fact that Dallas gets off of Hardaway, Jr.’s substantial contract, thus opening the cap space for the Mavs to actually go star hunting this summer, and it’s a no-brainer from that perspective.

Luka Sounds Off on Jaden Hardy

The best case scenario of that trade involves LeVert tutoring Dallas’ youngsters. That includes the rookie Hardy, who should be in Dallas’ plans more now that the team has moved on from in-season signing Kemba Walker.

And if that’s music to anyone’s ears, it’s Luka Doncic‘s.

“Amazing,” Doncic said of Hardy. “He gave us the pace. He was just attacking all the time. They couldn’t stop him. He’s a great player, and you can see it.”

Hardy, a former top high school recruit, represents Dallas’ future. Along with fellow wing Josh Green, Dallas has two young building blocks that could both feature as strong fits beside Luka Doncic.

Mavericks Looking for Wing Upgrades

The Mavericks are reportedly also searching for wing options outside of LeVert. According to Yahoo’s Jake Fischer, the Mavericks are interested in acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic of the Detroit Pistons. But Bogdanovic’s list of suitors is a long one that includes the Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers.

“At this juncture, the Pistons are seeking at least one first-rounder and either a young player with upside or additional draft capital, sources said, plus Cleveland has company in Dallas, Phoenix and the Lakers, among other teams in pursuit of (Bojan) Bogdanovic,” Fischer wrote.

Bogdanovic is having a career year for the lowly Pistons, averaging 21.1 points on 42% from three. With a career hit rate at 39% from deep, there’s also little indication this season is an outlier, making him an ideal addition to a playoff-bound team like Dallas.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x