For the Texas Legends, Jaden Hardy has been putting up impressive numbers. It wouldn’t hurt for Hardy to play this season and pick up some vital experience given the roster needs of the Dallas Mavericks.
As much as it is discussed that the Dallas Mavericks need to make roster adjustments through potential deals, there are still some internal levers coach Jason Kidd can pull to assist Luka Doncic further before reaching that stage.
The Mavs had high expectations for Josh Green and Frank Ntilikina to step up and serve as the team’s third ball-handler going into the season, but that hasn’t occurred as of yet. Spencer Dinwiddie came up to play that particular role after Jalen Brunson left, which necessitated filling Dinwiddie’s previous bench position. Although Facu Campazzo is a capable distributor, when he does have the chance to play, opponents rarely hesitate to leave him wide open.
Dallas’ bench scoring has improved with the signing of Christian Wood and the return of Tim Hardaway Jr., but something is still lacking. Jaden Hardy, a 20-year-old rookie, could hold the key.
Hardy is averaging 27 points per game in five games for the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League club, which is tied for seventh in the league. Additionally, Hardy averages 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and shoots 54.9 percent overall, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range and 89.5 percent from the charity stripe.
Although the skill at that level has increased significantly in recent years, the G League is obviously not as difficult as the NBA. Regardless, Hardy has demonstrated that he is prepared for a genuine opportunity in the major league. Before the Mavs took him with the 37th choice in the 2022 draught, he wasn’t putting up that sort of efficiency in the G League.
Young rookies are prone to making errors, and Hardy is no exception. But given some of the underwhelming performances from the Mavs’ supporting cast players thus far this season, Kidd surely wouldn’t hurt to give Hardy more playing time. If everything goes as planned, Hardy learning early and frequently might not only be a nice surprise for this season, but it will also benefit both Hardy and the Mavs in the future.
The Mavs asserted that Hardy was the 19th talent on their big board despite being selected in the second round of the draught. Dallas has to start using him more like the top-20 choice they believed he was if that is the case.
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