When he looks at his wing players, Coach Rick Carlisle will have no shortage of options when training camp opens in two weeks.
After trading for Josh Richardson on Wednesday night during the draft, the Mavericks found out Thursday that Tim Hardaway Jr. – coming off probably the most effective season of his career – will opt in for the final year of his contract.
Hardaway had a $19-million option to stay with the Mavericks or opt out and become an unrestricted free agent. He averaged 15.8 points in 71 games last season (58 starts). More importantly, he shot a career-best 39.8 percent from 3-point range.
With the Mavericks having lost Seth Curry and his deadeye accuracy from 3-point range in the trade for Richardson, Hardaway now owns the title as the team’s most reliable 3-point shooter.
Hardaway was, in many ways, the third cog for the Mavericks behind Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porzingis. And, being on the last year of his contract makes it a very favorable deal financially for the Mavericks, not to mention Hardaway.
The return of Hardaway adds to the mix at shooting guard/small forward. The Mavericks drafted highly regarded Josh Green out of Arizona with their first-round pick (18th overall). They also will have Nate Hinton, signed to a two-way contract out of Houston and Tyrell Terry and Tyler Bey, both of whom were taken with picks early in the second round.
This is in addition to Dorian Finney-Smith, a starter last season, plus Justin Jackson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
So Carlisle will have plenty of options.
In addition, the Mavericks also were informed by Willie Cauley-Stein’s representatives that the 7-footer will opt out of his contract, which would have been worth $2.3 million this coming season.
Cauley-Stein will become a free agent.
Training camp begins the first week of December and the regular season opens on Dec. 22.