The Dallas Morning News

Hardaway endured injury

Midseason acquisitio­n will have surgery on left tibia

- By GERRY FRALEY Staff Writer gfraley@dallasnews.com Staff writer Ben Baby contribute­d to this report. Twitter: @gfraley

Mavericks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. acknowledg­ed Thursday that he played the entire season with a subpar left leg.

Hardaway is scheduled to undergo surgery next week to correct a stress reaction in the left tibia. Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson said the club’s medical personnel believe Hardaway will be fully recovered by the start of training camp.

Hardaway averaged 18.1 points with a .393 shooting percentage, secondlowe­st of his career, this season with the New York Knicks and Mavericks. In 19 games with the Mavericks, he averaged 15.5 points with a .404 shooting percentage.

“I was playing through an injury basically the entire season,” said Hardaway, held out of the final 11 games of the season because of the condition. “I think that shows a lot about my character and how much I care for the guys in that locker room.”

Hardaway, 27, and former Knicks teammate Kristaps Porzingis talked on the bench during the final regularsea­son games about the possibilit­ies next season if both are healthy and Luka Doncic continues at his strong rookie pace.

“It’s definitely on the verge of something special,” Hardaway said. “Going into next season, everybody will be healthy. It will be a great sight to see.”

Powell hopes to remain with Mavs: Center Dwight Powell made it clear that he expects to return to the Mavericks next season.

“I want to stay here,” Powell said.

“That’s my goal.”

The question centers on what kind of contract Powell will have. He holds an option for next season but could choose to bypass it and work out a multiyear deal with the Mavs.

Powell, 27, is coming off a season in which he set career highs for points per game at 10.6 and shooting percentage at .597. He also launched a careerhigh 127 threepoint­ers and had a .307 success rate from that range.

“I like playing here,” Powell said. “I have fun in our system.

“Unfortunat­ely, this season didn’t go as expected for wins, but we had some great moments. In those moments, we showed we have a lot of great pieces.’’

Uncertain futures for Barea, Harris: Veteran guards J.J. Barea and Devin Harris face uncertain futures with the Mavericks.

Both will be unrestrict­ed free agents in their mid30s when that market opens July 6. Both are coming off seasons that will detract from their value.

Barea, 34, missed the final 40 games because of a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Barea said on exitinterv­iew day that the rehabilita­tion process is going well, and he hopes to begin playing pickup games in July.

“It’s something different for me, another challenge I’ve never had,” Barea said. “But I want to be here again. I want to play in this city again, in front of these fans again and I want to play good again.’’

Barea was playing well before the injury, averaging 10.6 points with 5.9 assists per game. The Mavericks were 2018 when Barea played, with all appearance­s off the bench.

Harris had his playing time decrease to 15.8 minutes per game, lowest since his rookie season of 200405 with the Mavericks. Harris had a .380 shooting percentage, secondlowe­st of his career.

Like Barea, Harris would like to remain with the Mavericks. He has played 10 seasons during three stays with the club.

Harris also recognizes there may be no spot for a 36yearold guard on a club that is pushing the youth element.

“As many times as I’ve returned, it’s a viable option,” Harris said. “With Dirk [Nowitzki] leaving, they’re kind of going to a new regime, a younger team. I’ll never close the door,” on the Mavericks.

Briefly: Coach Rick Carlisle said he sees no reason for guard Jalen Brunson to play with the rookie team in a summer league. … The Mavericks finished with the NBA’S fourthlowe­st team shooting percentage at .447. … Nelson said the club envisions Porzingis as a power forward in next season’s alignment, but he could be used at center if the need arises.

 ?? Ryan Michalesko/staff Photograph­er ?? Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 15.5 points and shot .404 from the field in 19 games with the Mavericks.
Ryan Michalesko/staff Photograph­er Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 15.5 points and shot .404 from the field in 19 games with the Mavericks.
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