Mavericks Rumors: Kyle Lowry, Tim Hardaway Jr. to Be Focus After 2021 NBA Draft

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 27, 2021

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Dallas Mavericks reportedly plan to focus on pursuing guard Kyle Lowry and re-signing guard Tim Hardaway Jr. after the 2021 NBA draft, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Lowry is expected to be one of the top players available in free agency, while Hardaway is set to hit the open market after spending parts of the past three seasons with the Mavs.

The 2021 NBA draft will take place Thursday night, and the Mavericks currently don't have a pick.

The Mavericks already have a strong core comprised of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but after first-round playoff exits in back-to-back years, they might need another star.

Lowry fits the bill, as the 35-year-old veteran is a six-time All-Star who played a big role in the Toronto Raptors' NBA championship in 2019.

In nine seasons with the Raptors, Lowry has averaged 17.5 points, 7.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 2.5 three-pointers and 1.5 steals while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from deep.

The 2020-21 season was a disappointing one for the Raptors as a whole, and injuries limited Lowry to 46 games, but he played great when healthy. He averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 2.8 three-pointers and 1.0 steals in those appearances.

Lowry has already proved he can play a key role on a championship-winning team, so the Mavericks may believe he can do the same with them. He could also take some of the ball-handling and scoring burden off Doncic's shoulders.

The 29-year-old primarily came off the bench this past season, starting only 31 of the 70 games he appeared in. He still played over 28 minutes per game and averaged 16.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 three-pointers and 1.8 assists while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent from long range.

Hardaway set a new career high in three-pointers made per game, and he has shot at least 39.0 percent from deep in each of the past two seasons.

With Doncic and Porzingis commanding so much defensive attention, it's critical for Dallas to have supporting players who can knock down threes, and Hardaway fits the bill.

If the Mavs can somehow figure out a way to retain Hardaway and add Lowry to the duo of Doncic and Porzingis, they might take a huge leap forward and enter championship contention next season.