Ranking Dallas Mavericks contracts from bargain to nightmare

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9. Jaden Hardy

The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a major steal in the 2022 NBA Draft when they traded into the second round to select Jaden Hardy. Some NBA scouts had some doubts about Hardy, but he quickly showed everyone that he should have been a first-round pick.

This season for Dallas, Hardy is averaging 7.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.3 steals per game while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from downtown. Hardy had an outstanding stretch of basketball about a month ago, but since has been removed from the rotation despite proving that he can make a big impact for this team off the bench.

Even though it has only been in garbage time as of late, Hardy makes the most of his minutes every time he steps into the game. After this season, he has one more year on his rookie deal (three years, $4.8 million) before becoming a restricted free agent.

This is great value for a player of Hardy's value, but it could be tough to retain him after next season. A rebuilding team could bet on his potential and pay him enough money to where Dallas can't match. It also wouldn't make sense for Dallas to pay him, especially if Jason Kidd doesn't play him, but that could change as Tim Hardaway Jr.'s contract expires at the same time as Hardy's.