Key to Dallas Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy’s development: 3. Playmaking
The top comp for Hardy coming out of high school was Bradley Beal. Before Beal was a three-time NBA All-Star, he was a 6’3 guard that could score from anywhere with a one-to-one assist to turnover ratio during his lone season at the University of Florida. Beal now averages over six assists per game in the NBA.
Hardy needs to improve his playmaking if he wants to reach his ceiling. In his 25 games with the G League Ignite, Hardy averaged 3.6 assists and 3.4 turnovers in 32.6 minutes per contest. The 20-year-old was the team’s top scorer last season, which is a role he was not quite ready to handle. Hardy is a pure scorer, but his ability to create for others needs work.
He fell into the perfect situation to improve his playmaking. Head coach Jason Kidd is one of the 75 best players in NBA history and one of the best point guards the league has ever seen. The Hall of Famer helped Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Malcolm Brogdon improve their playmaking when he was in Milwaukee, and he tasked Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson will more ball-handling duties last season.
Hardy will also be playing behind Luka Doncic, who is arguably the best shot creator in the NBA right now. Jaden Hardy has plenty to learn, but he is in the right situation to maximize his playmaking potential.