Predicting the Dallas Mavericks' Summer League MVP
The Mavs Summer League MVP will go to Jaden Hardy. Coming off the 2022 Summer League, where Hardy averaged 15 points per game, he left a lot of points on the table.
Hardy only shot 34.7% from the floor and 26.9% from three last summer. This time around, Hardy's confidence should be through the roof. He came off a season where he looked like a serviceable NBA player at only 20 years old. Which is something uncommon for a second-round draft pick.
After recording an effective field goal percentage of 53.3% in the NBA last season, Hardy looks to replicate his efficiency on a higher volume.
Hardy will get plenty of opportunities to score and facilitate. Even while playing alongside Wright IV, Hardy will be thrust into a playmaking role.
His ball-handling is already there, but his passing must take the next step. Playing alongside Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, Hardy didn't have to do much facilitating. But the Mavs are looking for a third playmaker, and Hardy could easily be that guy next season.
A productive summer for Hardy would include improved passing and defense. Hardy has shown he can score and score efficiently. 20+ points for Hardy should come regardless. But averaging more than three assists would certainly be a step in the right direction for the 21-year-old guard.
Aside from his offense, Hardy has made it a focus to improve his defense this offseason. Watching Hardy defend will be fun from the start as the Mavs take on the Thunder on June 8. Hardy will either be tasked with defending 10th overall pick Cason Wallace or third-year guard Tre Mann, who has averaged 9 points per game throughout his career.