Mavericks Rumors: DAL Confident About Signing Tim Hardaway Jr. to New Contract in FA

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 27, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 25: Tim Hardaway Jr. #11 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball during the game against the LA Clippers during Round 1, Game 2 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 25, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

There's a strong possibility Tim Hardaway Jr. will be a Dallas Maverick next season—at least if team brass has its way.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Mavericks have "confidence" that they'll be able to re-sign the guard, who has been with the team since it acquired him from the New York Knicks in 2019. 

Hardaway was a starter at the beginning of the season but took on a bench role as the Mavericks were skidding early and Maxi Kleber was returning from injury. 

"He goes, 'Coach, you don't even need to ask. I'm fine coming off the bench. We need to get this thing going. Whatever is needed by this team is what I'm going to do,'" head coach Rick Carlisle remembered while speaking to CBS Sports' Jasmyn Wimbish earlier this month. 

His willingness to take on a different responsibility helped Dallas climb from an 8-12 start to the fifth seed in the Western Conference. But the move certainly wasn't because of his performance, as his 16.6 points per game before the switch were right in line with his season average.

Hardaway appeared in 70 games for Dallas this season, averaging 16.6 points per contest, his most since joining the franchise. He also shot 44.7 percent from the field, his best since 2016-17, and went 39.1 percent from deep.

In the Mavericks' pair of postseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers, he has averaged 24.5 points while hitting 11 of his 17 three-point attempts to help Dallas take a 2-0 series lead. 

The 29-year-old is finishing up a four-year, $71 million deal he signed with the Knicks as a restricted free agent in 2017. The Michigan product was drafted New York at No. 24 overall in 2013 and spent his first two seasons with the team before he was dealt to the Atlanta Hawks. 

While he'll be an unrestricted free agent this time around, the Mavericks are apparently prepared to do what it takes to keep him in Dallas.