Why Jaden Hardy needs to be the Dallas Mavericks 6th man of the present and future

Dallas Mavericks, Jaden Hardy
Dallas Mavericks, Jaden Hardy / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 5

Dallas Mavericks are not winning with defense so embrace offense with Jaden Hardy

The Mavs desperately need to improve their perimeter defense, rebounding, and rim protection this offseason. They are just 4-8 when Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving play together since the trade, and their atrocious defense is at the center of that. Dallas must upgrade their roster this summer or they will be back fighting for a place in the Play-In Tournament next season.

Over the final six regular season games and into the playoffs, there is no changing their roster. The Mavericks are stuck with the 15 players they have, so embrace the team's strength and go all-in on it. Let Luka, Kyrie, and Jaden Hardy cook.

The 20-year-old is not ready to be a lead ball-handler, but he can get buckets. When the Mavericks superstars are starting to wear down, lean on Hardy. Let him go to work, especially against tired defenses. The 20-year-old has a high motor and fans are starting to see that he can score from anywhere.

Luka has started finding him more, and few will forget this unbelievable pass from the March 27 win over the Pacers.

Jaden Hardy is still in the early stages of his development, and that is why the Dallas Mavericks need to give him a consistent role now.