NBA Future Watch: Jaden Hardy Basketball Cards, Dallas MavericksNBA Future Watch: Jaden Hardy Basketball Cards, Dallas MavericksJaden Hardy ended up as one of the best value picks of the 2022 NBA Draft, landing in Dallas with the 37th overall pick. He is now being counted on as a key member of the core to help Luka Doncic carry the franchise over the hump to the NBA Finals.

Growing up playing hoops in the Detroit area, Hardy moved with his family to greater Las Vegas prior to high school. He progressed to the level of 30.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG and 8.4 APG by his junior season at Coronado High School. He qualified for the rosters of the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit. Hardy was classified as a five-star college prospect, and he ascended to the rank of #2 prospect in the 2021 class by ESPN. Having been offered scholarships from major programs such as Kentucky and UCLA, Hardy instead chose the G League Ignite.

For the Ignite’s Showcase games, Hardy averaged 17.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.3 SPG. He elevated to 21.2 PPG and 3.9 APG for the Ignite Tour. While those numbers are certainly respectable for a combo guard, sky-high expectations for a prospect of Hardy’s caliber proved a detriment to his draft stock. His scoring efficiency was not up to many expectations – although it progressed well as the year ensued. Hardy’s feel for the game was also something of a work in progress with the Ignite.

With all of that said, Hardy demonstrated the ability to score from all levels on the floor and he translated his athleticism into extremely promising defense. By approaching NBA Future Watch: Jaden Hardy Basketball Cards, Dallas Mavericks80% FT% across the totality of the campaign, Hardy provided tremendous reassurance about his long-term scoring proficiency, given the correlation between shooting at the stripe and overall scoring numbers. Also, the ability to change pace and be a weapon in the open court that Hardy flashes is rare indeed.

With Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway Jr. accompanying Doncic in the backcourt, the Mavericks will have the luxury of bringing Hardy along at a measured pace. Yet, it can be fairly argued with the loss of Jalen Brunson to the Knicks, Doncic alone on this roster has a higher upside than Hardy. When and if this team takes the championship leap that so many pundits have forecast in the 2020s, Hardy will be established as a superstar who has fulfilled his incredible potential, especially as a scorer.

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Rick Morris

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