First-round pick Dallas Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy is outperforming: 1. Johnny Davis
The Wizards selected Davis tenth overall out of the University of Wisconsin. His father briefly played in the NBA, and the 20-year-old was Big Ten Player of the Year and a consensus All-American in college. Multiple teams were excited about his defense and potential in the draft.
Davis has played in just ten games with the Wizards this season and a total of 50 minutes. He is now sidelined with a hip strain, but he was strictly limited to mop-up duties before that. The 6’5 wing did play 14 games in the G League where he averaged 11.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.0 steal in 25.2 minutes per game.
It has been a struggle for Davis as a rookie, despite being a top-ten draft pick. The Wizards are still excited about his potential, but he has not received many opportunities to shine so far.
It is still early for every rookie. Most of them are still adjusting to life in the NBA and the speed of the game. First-year players do not usually start shining until after the All-Star break. Jaden Hardy has dominated the G League and worked his way into the Mavericks rotation, which is uncommon for a second-round pick in their first year in the league.
Will Hardy go down as the steal of the 2022 draft? Can the Mavericks develop him into a key rotation player next to Luka Doncic for years to come? The 20-year-old is already outperforming multiple first-round picks, but can he continue his development? Stay tuned to find out.