Breaking News: Just In Dallas Mavericks In Talk To Re-sign Top Talented Star

After losing to the Boston Celtics in five games in their first NBA Finals appearance in thirteen years, the Dallas Mavericks are suddenly faced with their first significant roster construction dilemma.

Derrick Jones Jr., their starting small forward, is not under contract through the 2024–25 season, but the majority of their top rotation players are. Last summer, the 6-foot-5 UNLV product took a chance and signed a one-year veteran’s minimum contract with Dallas; he then outperformed the terms of that agreement. Jason Kidd, the head coach, saw Jones’ potential as a flexible defender and an effective cutter on offense right away.

The 26-year-old averaged a career-high 8.6 points on.483/.343/.713 shooting splits over 76 regular season games (66 starts), along with 3.3 rebounds, one assist, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game. In 22 postseason games, Jones averaged 9.1 points on a.481/.369/.733 slash line, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, one block, and 0.5 swipes a night. His shooting efficiency only increased throughout this time.

Tim Hardaway Jr., the costly backup swingman that Mavericks club president Nico Harrison replaced with Jones at the starting small forward position, is expected to be let go, according to Marc Stein in a recent Substack.
While not quite as good a defender as Jones, the 6-foot-5 experienced wing from the second generation (his father is Hall of Fame guard Tim Hardaway Sr.) was nonetheless a floor-spacing menace in 2023–2024. He averaged 14.4 points, slashing.402/.353/.852, in his 79 regular season games (12 starts), adding 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 0.5 steals.
Currently in the final year of his four-year contract, Hardaway is due an affordable $16.2 million in 2024–25. Stein points out that the Mavericks should be able to free up enough cap space to sign Jones again if they trade Hardaway for him. Depending on what Dallas receives in exchange for Hardaway, the team may be able to use a non-taxpayer mid-level exception worth up to $12.9 million instead of the $5.2 million taxpayer mid-level exception it currently has.

According to Mark Deeks of HoopsHype, Jones should be able to hang onto that sticker tag come summertime. Although Jones played a crucial role in helping the Mavericks make it to the playoffs, his erratic jump shooting likely prevents him from earning the kind of free-agent money that allowed bench wing Bruce Brown to sign a two-year, $45 million contract with the Indiana Pacers—who traded him to the Toronto Raptors as part of their deal to acquire two-time All-Star Pascal Siakam—after leaving the Denver Nuggets fresh off a championship victory last summer.

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