The Smoking Cuban

2022 NBA Draft mock 2.0: Who will Dallas Mavericks select?

2022 NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren
2022 NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren / James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
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2022 NBA Draft, Jaden Hardy
2022 NBA Draft, Jaden Hardy / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2022 NBA Draft mock #5: New Orleans Pelicans: Jaden Hardy

The Pelicans are struggling out of the game, and there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding Zion Williamson’s injury. New Orleans keeps their pick if they miss the playoffs, but it heads to Charlotte if it lands from 15 to 30. Right now, it looks like the Pelicans will finish with a bottom-five record in the league.

Hardy is leading the G League Ignite this season, and he is the three-level scorer that every team covets. The 19-year-old already hits consistently from the NBA 3-point range, plus has the ability to handle the ball and make plays. He profiles more as a scorer than a true point guard.

Hardy is likely to work his way up draft boards if he can have a standout season. The 2021 NBA Draft had just three traditional centers selected in the first round, so fans should expect guards and wings to move up draft boards. Hardy will be showcased with the G League Ignite and should have plenty of opportunities to shine.

New Orleans needs a guard that can create shots, and they would love to add Jaden Hardy. He has the potential to be a 20-plus point-per-game scorer in the NBA, and fans should be watching him closely in the G League this season, which is already underway.