2. Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was part of the Knicks to Mavericks pipeline when he was traded to Dallas in 2019 as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal. Unlike Porzingis, Hardaway is still in Texas, where he's off to a career start.
Hardaway is averaging 18.7 points per game on 44.1% shooting from the field and a career-best 40.2% shooting from deep. He's doing so while coming off the bench for the Mavericks.
Against the Wizards on Nov. 15, he dropped 31 points in 27 minutes on 7-of-11 shooting from deep.
Since the start of the season, there's been only one game in which Hardaway didn't score in double digits. He's thrived in a Sixth Man role, and if Dallas' success continues, he could be a finalist for the award at the end of the season.
Outside of his scoring, Hardaway has drawn the second-most charges in the league (8), second to none other than Jalen Brunson (10). After being labeled as a poor defender for most of his career (remember when he called a referee safe instead of guarding a Serge Ibaka shot attempt?), his perimeter defense has also improved.
It's still to be determined if the Mavericks will maintain their position as one of the top teams in the league. When Kyrie Irving is on the roster, anything can happen. The good news for Dallas fans is that, along with Hardaway's rise, Luka Doncic still exists.