The Dallas Mavericks traded for the Sacramento Kings 37th pick and took guard Jaden Hardy in the 2022 NBA Draft Thursday night.
Dallas traded second rounders in 2024 and 2028 to grab the 37th pick. The Mavericks originally entered draft night without any picks, agreeing to trade their 26th pick to the Houston Rockets for center Christian Wood last week.
Hardy, a 6’4’ guard, was the No. 2 player of the 2021 high school class, and decided to play with the G-League Ignite instead of playing in college. Before he started his time in the G-League, Hardy was considered a potential lottery pick, even top-10 pick due to his immense offensive talent. He struggled a bit in his lone season with the Ignite, tanking his draft stock all the way to where the Mavericks had an ability to trade up and take him.
According to ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon, Hardy was 19th on the Mavericks draft board. Other mock drafts had Hardy in a similar range, outside the lottery but still late in the first round. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner had Hardy 17th on his draft board. So while there are concerns about Hardy’s decision making, defense, and ability to translate his talent to the next level, the Mavericks are taking a worthy gamble. There were even some mocks that had Hardy projected to the Mavericks at 26, so in a way the Mavericks were able to acquire Christian Wood with that 26th pick and still come away from draft night with a prospect that pick could have netted.
This will also be Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison’s first draft pick, after the Mavericks didn’t have any picks in Harrison’s first draft in 2021.
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