The Smoking Cuban

2022 NBA Draft mock 1.0: First look at the first round

2022 NBA Draft Chet Holmgren Paolo Banchero
2022 NBA Draft Chet Holmgren Paolo Banchero / Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via
4 of 31
2022 NBA Draft, Jaden Hardy
2022 NBA Draft, Jaden Hardy / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2022 NBA Draft mock #3: Orlando Magic: Jaden Hardy

Hardy will be leading the G League Ignite in their second season. The 19-year-old is a bucket that can score at all three levels. He is already hitting jumpers from NBA 3-point range and has a fluid shot that should translate well to the pros.

The 6’4 guard profiles more as a scorer than a primary point guard. He has an incredible handle and strong passing ability, but Hardy loves to take matters into his own hands and score. It will be interesting to see how his shot-making translates to the G League this season.

Most big boards for the 2022 NBA Draft are flush with big men at the top, so it will be interesting to see how things play out this season. Only three traditional bigs were selected in the first round in 2021. Hardy jumps to the number one pick if he excels in the G League because of the NBA’s current preference to taking guards and wings over big men. The 6’4 guard has plenty of skill and is one of the best scorers in this draft class.

The Orlando Magic drafted their point guard in Jalen Suggs in 2021. They would love to add a scoring guard with All-Star potential in Jaden Hardy to be his partner in the backcourt for the next decade-plus.