NBA players in need of a 2022-23 comeback: Tim Hardaway Jr.
- 2021-22 WAR: 2.0
- FiveThirtyEight WAR projection: 3.1
Let’s keep with the Mavs, shall we?
Tim Hardaway Jr. took a step back last year, largely due to a fractured foot he sustained midway through the season. He only appeared in 42 games, starting in about half of them. In those games, he averaged 3.8 fewer points than he did in 2021 per 36 minutes. His field goal and 3-point percentages dropped 5.3% and 5.5%, respectively.
Hardaway hasn’t played with this new-look Mavs team which now rosters Spencer Dinwiddie and the aforementioned Bertans, both acquired at the deadline after Hardaway’s injury last year. That means his role is up for definition and could be fluid going into next year, something he seems ready for.
It also could mean that Hardaway could be a trade piece for the Mavs.
All that to say Hardaway will need to be ready for just about anything this season will throw at him if he hopes to have a bounceback year.
It’s important not to single Hardaway out in the dip of performance last year. The team was 19th in 3-point percentage and fared particularly poorly in December (fourth-worst team 3-point percentage that month, 32.3%), one of the only full months that Hardaway played in.
The Mavs had a new coach in Jason Kidd and for most of Hardaway’s games, they were still finding their rhythm. Coming into a season where he’s had health and recovery on his side for the summer, he could get back to the reliable THJ we’ve all come to know.