The Dallas Mavericks sent two future second-round picks to the Sacramento Kings to trade back into the draft to select Jaden Hardy. They were targeting the 6’4 guard with the 26th overall pick before the Mavs traded it to Houston in the Christian Wood deal. When Hardy slipped into the second round on draft night, the Mavericks started looking for a way to bring him to Dallas.
The 20-year-old was ESPN’s number two player in the 2021 high school class behind only Chet Holmgren. He ranked ahead of Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith, and the rest of the one-and-done freshman that were selected ahead of him, but Hardy's stocked slipped after he struggled in his lone season with the G League Ignite.
His talent is undeniable, but he needs to prove that he can be that elite player at the next level. Hardy has the potential to be a star, but does he end up having a career like Bradley Beal or is he more Dennis Schroder or Lou Williams? What will make the difference in Hardy’s development?
3 keys to Jaden Hardy’s development with the Dallas Mavericks
Hardy is a professional scorer that can get buckets at all three levels, but he struggled with his efficiency during his one season after high school. The Ignite only played 25 games, so it is not a massive sample size. Hardy is a better shooter than he gets credit for, and he is a 6’4 guard that can go get a bucket.
If he improves in three key areas, Jaden Hardy could become a starter for the Dallas Mavericks for the next decade-plus. Here is a look at what the rookie second-round pick should be working on as he prepares for the 2022-2023 season.