Dallas Here's proof the Dallas Mavericks are becoming legitimate playoff contenders: They've acquired five-time All-Star Tim Hardaway to be a backup.
Hardaway was sent to Dallas on Wednesday in a sign-and-trade deal from Miami. The Heat get the Mavericks' $3.2 million salary-cap exception and a second-round draft pick within three years. Hardaway gets a three-year contract worth about $10 million.
"We feel good about getting Tim Hardaway," said Dallas coach-general manager Don Nelson, who drafted Hardaway for Golden State in 1989 and coached him there for five seasons.
"He is the quality of player we want to help us not just in the regular season, but in the playoffs."
The Mavs have a young nucleus with Michael Finley, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. Last season, they carried Dallas into the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1988.
To continue the climb, Nelson has sought veteran help. He signed Danny Manning a few weeks ago and has been targeting Hardaway all offseason. Dallas finally had room to acquire him by recently trading Howard Eisley to New York in a three-way deal that also sent Glen Rice to Houston.
Hardaway, who will be 35 Sept. 1, no longer averages more than 20 points and 10 assists per game as he did early in his career. Foot and knee injuries also have been problems. The Mavericks hope to get more out of Hardaway by using him less. He'll back up Nash at point guard, with the pair occasionally sharing the backcourt.