Mavericks Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. Named One of NBA’s Top 100 Players



Dallas Mavericks goalie Tim Hardaway Jr. flexes after hitting a big blow against the Miami Heat.

The Dallas Mavericks have one of the best rosters in the NBA Western Conference, with Tim Hardaway Jr. billed as one of the team’s top three players.

When Dallas acquired Hardaway Jr. in January 2019, it was originally seen by some as a filler as part of the larger deal with Kristaps Porzingis. Now he’s grown into one of the Mavericks’ most important players, which recently landed him a new contract worth around $ 75 million over the next four years.

The two ESPN and Illustrated sports released their top 100 NBA players this week. Neither list last year included Hardaway Jr., but both did include it this time around.

ESPN ranked Hardaway Jr. at No.79 while Sports Illustrated ranked it at No.96. Still, with the current talent in the NBA, being considered one of the NBA’s top 100 players should be an honor.

A season in small groups

Hardaway Jr. enjoyed one of the best years of his career last season, averaging 16.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting 39.1% from beyond the arc. In what was certainly his best season as a member of the Mavericks, he often looked like the second best player on the roster behind Luka Doncic.

Especially in Porzingis’ absence at the start of the season, Hardaway Jr. stepped up and gave the team the extra punch they needed to stay competitive.

Throughout the playoffs, Hardaway Jr. carried a significant offensive load, producing 17.0 points per game and shooting 40.4% from deep. He finished second for the team in the playoffs in points by a wide margin while handing out ten assists, good for third over the Mavericks. Hardaway Jr. also reversed 57 points to 3 points in seven playoff games.

The right fit

A great partner for Doncic, Hardaway Jr. appears to be playing extremely well alongside the Dallas superstar. As the defenses crumble on Doncic, Hardaway Jr. still arrives in his place and is ready to knock down the open 3-point pointer. This ultimately translates into more floor space for guys like Doncic to attack the rim.

Sometimes in the NBA, players just have to find the right fit. While Hardaway Jr. produced similar stats during his time with the Knicks as he does now with the Mavericks, his role seems to fit better now. In a winning team, he’s a great third or fourth scoring option that can keep the team going when players like Doncic and Porzingis are resting on the bench.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

GettyTim Hardaway Jr. slaps Luka Doncic in playoff game against LA Clippers

Hardaway Jr. proved effective both as a starter and as a reserve last season in Dallas. In the 31 games he has started, the goalie has averaged 18.6 points in just over 31 minutes per game. On the flip side, in 39 games off the bench last season, he averaged 15.1 points in about 25 minutes per game. Whatever his role on a given night, his output per minute is pretty consistent. This allows the Dallas coaching staff to have more flexibility in which rosters they can deploy.

After seeing how effective Hardaway Jr. was for the Mavericks last season, it’s no surprise he’s considered one of the NBA’s Top 100 players. As he continues to find his rhythm in Dallas, he has the chance to improve over the next few years with his new contract.