Reason #1. Scoring
Although his rookie season was a small sample size (he only played in 48 games), it was fantastic both visually and from a statistical perspective.
His per-game numbers don't immediately jump off the page, as he only averaged 8.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. A large part of this was because he only played an average of 14.8 minutes per game.
A deeper dive shows a much more exciting picture coming into focus that should excite Mavs fans.
Albeit a small sample size, Jaden Hardy played 20 minutes or more in 13 games. In those contests, Hardy's per-game averages look like this:
- Points - 19.46
- Rebounds - 3.53
- Assists - 2.61
- Field Goal Percentage - 45.5%
- 3PT percentage - 40.6%
- Free Throw percentage - 81.4%
Given the state of the current Dallas roster, it is assumed that Hardy will be the first guard off the bench on most nights, giving the Mavs a third ball handler and spelling either Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving as the Mavs stagger their two stars rotationally.
When Jalen Brunson played a similar role with the Mavericks, he averaged 25 minutes per game. When Spencer Dinwiddie played that role the year the Mavs made it to the Western Conference Finals, he averaged 28.3 minutes per game.
In that role, Brunson would average 12.6 points per game, while Dinwiddie averaged 15.8 points per game.
So, with the assumption that Hardy would get a similar range of minutes, his scoring during his rookie year already exceeds what those two players provided.
The talent and ability are seemingly there for Jaden Hardy, he just needs playing time. Considering how Jason Kidd appears to like having a third guard be a major part of the offensive game plan, Hardy could be unleashed upon the league in a very loud fashion.