According to Rick Carlisle, Tim Hardaway Jr. will be shut down for the remaining 11 games as he deals with a stress reaction in his left tibia.
Tim Hardaway Jr. has a stress reaction and, Carlisle says, he is being shut down for the season.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) March 22, 2019
Hardaway was part of the blockbuster deal with the New York Knicks that brought Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas. The swingman has averaged 15.5 points and three rebounds per night while shooting 40 percent from the field and 32 percent from three in 19 games with Dallas.
If the stress reaction injury sounds familiar, it’s because the injury derailed Seth Curry’s Maverick tenure last season. Dallas was cautious with Curry’s rehab, continuously pushing the time frame back until the organization finally decided to shut him down last February.
Unfortunately for Hardaway, this marks the second consecutive season the 27-year-old has missed with a stress reaction. The injury is generally a precursor to a much more serious stress fracture which can occur if the reaction does not receive adequate rest.
The Mavericks will be cautious with Hardaway, who will count $20 million against the cap next season and has a player option for the 2020-21 season.
Full Rick Carlisle comment on Tim Hardaway Jr. left tibial stress reaction, says “course of action” will be determined next week after more testing. pic.twitter.com/m0rawCK05D— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) March 22, 2019
The long term implications could be dire for Hardaway since he’s still plagued by a lingering injury that could get much worse, but the short term implications aren’t as drastic for the Mavericks who are circling the drain as the season closes. Ryan Broekhoff should see a bump in playing time, and Devin Harris will almost certainly see an uptick in minutes, but this is a large opportunity for Justin Jackson to earn a rotation spot next season.
With Hardaway’s exit comes a large void as the Mavericks are now missing 14 shot attempts per night. And for as much flack as Hardaway has received for his gunner mentality, he was one of the few Mavericks who possessed the ability to create his own shot. The playmaking load will squarely rest on Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson’s shoulders in the final few games.
Hardaway’s injury represents another blow to the Mavericks season that started with hopeful optimism. Whether he’s ready by October remains to be seen, but this injury will be something to monitor as the offseason progresses.