Tim Hardaway Jr. is looking to expand his game as Luka Doncic‘s backcourt partner, Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News writes. Hardaway, who served as the sixth man in more than half of the Mavericks’ games last season, will look to boost his defensive presence along with delivering his usual 3-point shooting.
“He’s able to score the ball, but we’re asking him to play defense, too,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We’re trying to show him the things that can help him be better at that position, and if he can do those things, I think he can be talked about as an All-Star, too, in this league.”
Hardaway, who signed a four-year, $75MM contract this summer, chose to be a starter this season after Kidd gave him the option of being in the lineup regularly or heading the second unit.
We have more on the Mavericks:
- Dallas made a strong push for Frank Ntilikina, which the free agent point guard appreciated, he told Marc Stein of Substack. “I felt that will since the beginning of free agency, so that will from them to have me here, that’s what made me want to come here,” the former Knicks guard said. “The challenge is just exciting.” Ntilikina signed a two-year minimum contract, though the second year is non-guaranteed.
- Kidd believes that Kristaps Porzingis can return to his All-Star form as early as this season, according to Caplan. “I think he has the skill set to be an All-Star. He is an All-Star in this league,” Kidd said. “Sometimes we judge people unfairly because of injuries or other things that are going on, and we expect them to be robots or be All-Stars every year.”
- Despite having two max players, the Mavericks have a favorable cap situation, John Hollinger of The Athletic notes. Dallas is still $16MM below the luxury-tax line, giving the club plenty of elbow room to pursue roster upgrades. Hollinger takes a deep dive into the team’s offseason moves and projects it to finish with the Western Conference’s fifth-best record.