The Dallas Mavericks saw an opportunity in the 2022 NBA Draft that was too good to pass up, and they seized it. They had traded both of their picks before draft night, but when Jaden Hardy slipped into the second round, the Mavs sent two future seconds to the Kings to draft the 6’4 guard.
Hardy was the number two player in his class coming out of high school ahead of Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr., but he slipped into the second round after an uneven season playing for the G League Ignite. He averaged 19.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 32.6 minutes per game, but Hardy shot just 37.6 percent from the field and 30.9 percent on his threes. Shot selection and decision-making were issues behind his struggles.
The 20-year-old has showcased his potential in the early stages of training camp. Here is a look at why he has the talent to break into the Mavericks rotation this season, and what could hold him back.
Dallas Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy's catch and shoot 3-pointers look NBA ready
Hardy is a natural scorer with a strong base. He has a smooth release that resulted in two catch and shoot 3-pointers in the team’s Fan Jam on Oct. 1. The 20-year-old is never afraid to fire away when open, and he can connect from long range. Fans can see one of his catch and shoot threes from Fan Jam below.
Catch and shoot threes are a must as Hardy will have to share the floor with Luka Doncic if he is going to play a significant role for the Mavericks this season. The 6’4 guard had zero issues spotting up in the corner and firing away when left uncovered.
Jaden Hardy’s catch-and-shoot ability could allow him to play next to number 77, but the 20-year-old brings a different dimension to the team as well.