3 things Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy must do to reach his ceiling

Memphis Grizzlies v Dallas Mavericks
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2. Improved playmaking

The Mavericks acquired Jaden Hardy because of his ability to score, not his ability to facilitate. However, facilitation is still important for a 6-foot-3 guard.

While playing for the G-League Ignite, Hardy averaged 3.2 assists per game, good for third amongst Ignite players in the 2022-23 season. Averaging more than three assists is commendable for a scoring guard, but Hardy averaged a miserable 3.5 turnovers per game while suiting up for the Ignite.

Despite these porous numbers, once again Hardy demonstrated he may be better suited to playing with the Mavericks. He averaged 1.4 assists to 1.0 turnovers per game. Per 36 minutes, Hardy averaged 3.3 assists per game, an average mark in the association.

Upon examining the best shooting guards in the league, most average anywhere from three to five assists per game. Hardy's per 36 minutes stats align, as above three assists per game make the cut. But, Hardy must continue to display his playmaking prowess once he's thrust into a larger role.

In only about fifteen minutes per game a season ago, Hardy's role was simplified. He was tasked with knocking down open shots. Hardy wasn't overly exerted on the playmaking spectrum.

To reach his full potential, playmaking will certainly be a key component of Hardy's game. Hardy has good athleticism and ball-handling skills, so the problem is not his ability to penetrate or drive, but his ability to make decisions on the fly.

To better Hardy's playmaking, allowing the youngster to operate pick-and-rolls and further create off the dribble would do wonders for his game.

A prime example of improved playmaking with additional offensive responsibilities is the Grizzlies' Desmond Bane. Bane averaged less than a pick-and-roll per game as a rookie. And subsequently, he averaged only 1.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game.

Flash forward to the past season. He averaged 3.4 pick-and-rolls and 4.4 assists per game. As a shoot-first player, Bane has diversified his game to heighten his ceiling. Hardy can do the same.