Mavericks trade back into 2022 NBA draft, select Jaden Hardy with 37th pick

The Mavs shook up their initially quiet draft night Thursday by trading two future second-round picks to the Sacramento Kings for pick No. 37 in the 2022 NBA draft.

The Mavs selected guard Jaden Hardy with the pick, a former five-star recruit who averaged 30 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists as a high school senior and was Nevada’s 2021 player of the year. To obtain the 37th pick, the Mavs sent their second-round picks in 2024 and 2028 to the Kings.

Hardy, 19, bypassed scholarship offers from Kentucky and UCLA, among others, to play last spring for the G League’s Team Ignite. In the G League, Hardy (6-4, 198) averaged 17.7 points per game, 3.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds. While his numbers look decent, he struggled with his efficiency and 3-point shot, shooting 26.9% from beyond the arc.

“I feel like I’m the best player in this draft if you ask me. I feel like playing in the NBA G League, it is the second-best league in the world, ”Hardy said before the draft on Yahoo’s Posted Up podcast. “I played against people in the NBA right now, like Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga. … I’m playing against NBA talent-level guys every game. I’m learning. I’m getting more comfortable every game. ”

Nico Harrison has engineered two big trades in his time with Dallas, but this pick is the first one made in his short career as the Mavericks’ general manager.

Jaden Hardy scouting report

(From the NBA’s official draft guide)

Career highlights

-Played the 2021-22 season with NBA G League Ignite.

-Ranked as ESPN’s top guard and No. 2 players in the 2021 high school class.

-Averaged 30.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.4 assists as a junior at Coronado High School in Henderson, Nev.

-Unable to play a normal season as a high school senior due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but still received McDonald’s All-American and USA Nike Hoops Summit Team honors.

2021-22

-Led Ignite in scoring (19.8 ppg) and added 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 24 games.

-Ignite schedule included 14 NBA G League Showcase Cup games and 13 Ignite Tour games, all against NBA G League opponents.

-Ranked fifth in the NBA G League in free throw percentage (88.2) during the Showcase Cup portion of the season.

-Scored a season-high 31 points against Capital City (Jan. 28).

-Posted 27 points (including six three-pointers), seven rebounds, six assists and three steals against Santa Cruz (March 28).

Strengths

-Shifty combo guard with a strong frame and good length.

-Terrific scoring instincts; excels at creating space off the dribble.

-Confident shooter with deep range and good mechanics.

– Has an advanced mid-range pull-up game.

Personal

-Older brother, Amauri, also challenged for NBA G League Ignite in the 2021-22 season.

-Father, Ramsey, played college basketball at Tuskegee University.

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