3 first round picks Dallas Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy is already outperforming

Dallas Mavericks, Jaden Hardy
Dallas Mavericks, Jaden Hardy / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks traded back into the 2022 NBA Draft to select Jaden Hardy 38th overall. The 6’4 guard was the number two player in his high school class, but he struggled in his lone season with the G League Ignite. There were questions about his decision-making and defense that saw him slip into the second round, and the Mavs knew they had to pounce.

Dallas had the 26th overall pick before trading it to acquire Christian Wood from the Rockets. Hardy was their target with that selection, and the Mavericks had a clear first-round grade on the talented 20-year-old. As he fell into the second round, Dallas started working the phones to be the team that selected him. They found a deal with the Kings where Sacramento landed two future second-round picks.

Hardy's talent was evident from the moment he arrived in Dallas, and he has worked his way into the Mavericks rotation as a rookie after dominating the G League with the Texas Legends. He was selected 38th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, but he is already outperforming several first-round picks, including these three selected in the top 20.

First-round pick Dallas Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy is outperforming: 3. Dalen Terry

Hardy was limited to garbage time minutes with the Mavs until January. The rookie finally got a chance to play 15 minutes against the Celtics, and he responded with 15 points. Hardy has been in the rotation ever since, and he is averaging 8.8 points in 17.0 minutes per game over the last five.

In his 11 games with the Legends, Hardy averaged 28.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 33.3 minutes per game, while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 49.0 percent on his threes.

Bulls first-round pick Dalen Terry has played in just 14 games, and he has strictly been limited to garbage time minutes. The 20-year-old wing is literally averaging 3.7 minutes per game this season. Terry has played seven games in the G League where he averages 12.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.1 steals in 31.0 minutes per game.

They are two different players, but Hardy has gotten more playing time and earned a larger opportunity faster than Terry, despite the Bulls picking the 6’7 wing 20 spots higher.