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
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Jaden Hardy could be special but he needs time to develop

Rookies often flash in the second half of the season. It takes them time to get acclimated and catch up to the speed of the NBA game. There are usually just glimpses of potential and moments that make you believe there is more to come. Hardy has shown some of those flashes, but he needs time to develop.

That growth will come faster with reps. The Mavericks made this mistake with Josh Green. He barely played as a rookie, so his second NBA season was virtually his first. Dallas stunted his growth, and he did not break out until year three. The Mavs believe he will further improve, but the process was slowed by a lack of playing time.

The franchise cannot make that same mistake with Jaden Hardy. Keep running him out there and let him make mistakes. If he needs to be pulled out because of an error, do it, but give him more run in the second half and let him learn from that mistake.

Head coach Jason Kidd, for all of his flaws, has done well at developing talent. Jaden Hardy certainly has it, and playing him is the first step to reaching his ceiling.

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The Dallas Mavericks are in danger of missing the postseason entirely after a rough year, but Jaden Hardy provides a glimmer of hope for the future. Will the 20-year-old keep improving? What is his ceiling? Will he reach it? Stay tuned to find out.