Shooting Guard - Tim Hardaway Jr.
I like DeMar DeRozen a lot, but in terms of what the Spurs need, Hardaway is the better fit. The Spurs have been in a transitional period for a few years now. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili are gone, and Leonard made his untimely exit. DeMar is a great player, but I’m worried that he has become the focal point on a team that needs to let the young guys get more touches and reps.
Tim Hardaway Jr. shoots just under 40% from each corner behind the arc, and he is not a ball-dominant player. While he is a seasoned veteran and I’d prefer Devin Vassell to take over the wing role, if Popovich feels like Vassell isn’t ready for a starting role, then Hardaway is an excellent option at the shooting guard/wing role.
He is coming off the best two shooting years from deep in his career, where he takes most of his shots. This is a desperately needed change of pace for the Spurs and could instantly make the team one of the more dangerous offensive squads in the league. Murray can drive and kick out to Derrick White or Hardaway, and the added shooting could transform Poeltl into a better pick-and-roll player if some attention were to be taken away from the interior.
Hardaway was a very valuable piece of a talented Dallas team, so I’m sure the Mavericks will offer him the most they can to retain him. The Mavs are expected to offer Hardaway around $20 million a year when they negotiate his next contract. The Spurs can offer him more money as well as a slightly bigger role on the offense. The only questions are if Hardaway wants to move across the state and if Spurs fans would embrace the move.