The Dallas Mavericks traded two second-round picks to get back into the 2022 draft to select Jaden Hardy at 38th overall. They sent their second-round pick to Washington in Kristaps Porzingis for Spencer Dinwiddie swap and moved their first-round selection to acquire Christian Wood. Hardy was the team’s target at 26th overall, so the Mavs had to pounce when he was still available in the second round.
The 20-year-old was the number two player coming out of high school, but he struggled in his lone season with the G League Ignite. There were flashes of his potential, but Hardy was inconsistent and turnover prone in his first professional experience. It caused him to slip into the second round, but the Mavericks were ecstatic to land his talent.
Hardy does not have an NBA role as a rookie, so the front office sent him down for the Texas Legends' first two games over the weekend before recalling him on Sunday. Here is a look at his first two contests before diving into what is next for the 20-year-old rookie.
Jaden Hardy recalled by the Mavericks after 2 stellar games with Legends in G League
Hardy had 23 points, six assists, three rebounds, and one steal in the Legends' season-opening win over the Spurs in Austin. He made just seven of 17 from the field and had five turnovers, but it was an overall strong performance from the 20-year-old.
The Spurs got revenge on the second night of a back-to-back, but Hardy had 33 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block in 34.3 minutes of action. He hit five 3-pointers and was 11 of 19 from the field.
The Legends are off until next Saturday when they face the Birmingham Squadron, so the Mavericks recalled Jaden Hardy for their games against the Nets, Magic, and Wizards. After Thursday’s game, Hardy will head back to the G League for the Legends next two games.
The 20-year-old rookie needs the time on the court, so he will be optioned to the G League frequently this season. Can Jaden Hardy prove he belongs in the NBA rotation at some point? Stay tuned to find out.