3. Jaden Hardy
If the Mavs are going to pull off a blockbuster deal, Hardy would likely be included. The second-round draft pick in 2022 exceeded expectations as a rookie. He was outside the rotation to begin the season but was leading the G League in scoring before getting a chance. Hardy immediately showed a fearlessness and ability to attack that were refreshing for a 20-year-old.
By the end of his rookie campaign, Hardy looked ready to be the team’s sixth man, and a key contributor to their rotation. The 6’4 guard can score at all three levels, and he outperformed expectations to average 8.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. Hardy also shot 40.4 percent from 3-point range and 82.3 percent on his free throws.
The Mavericks traded back into the second round to select him 37th overall, but he would likely be a lottery pick if the class was re-drafted today. It should not be shocking. He was the number two player in the class coming out of high school, but a down year with the G League Ignite hurt his draft stock. Hardy showed it was a fluke in the NBA.
The Dallas Mavericks do not want to trade him, but if they are going to acquire another All-Star-level talent, the opposition is going to ask for Jaden Hardy in return. Will they give up the 20-year-old? It depends on who is coming back to Dallas.