Early NBA Mock Draft has the Dallas Mavericks winning big

Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images) /

This year’s NBA Draft is one of those special times the Dallas Mavericks actually get to make their pick. Over the years, the Mavs have been somewhat notorious for trading away draft picks, so on those rare occasions they get to make a pick, you can bet we take notice.

Never mind the fact the Dallas Mavericks are currently entrenched in their most successful playoff run since their 2011 Championship season. The NBA news cycle never stops and when 26 of the 30 NBA teams are at home licking their wounds, there’s no better time than now to start NBA Draft conversations.

Dallas Mavericks fans can be excited about the team this year and the 2022 NBA Draft all at the same time.

On Tuesday, SB Nation released their infamous mock draft. In it, they had the Dallas Mavericks snagging a former top-5 recruit with astronomical upside. At a time when it’s impossible NOT to be excited about the Mavs future, let’s throw ourselves deeper into the rabbit hole and imagine what could be if the draft falls the right way this summer.

Picking 26th, the Dallas Mavericks picked Jaden Hardy from the G-League. Regarded as one of the elite players of his class, Hardy’s untraditional route thorough the G-League didn’t do him many favors as a prospect.

Hardy is a feast-or-famine scorer who likes to attack the basket even if it’s somewhat reckless, and at times, inefficient. The 6-foot-4 guard isn’t afraid to shoot outside and has shown the ability to score from anywhere, in any situation. While he has a sky-high ceiling as a shooter, his 27 percent shooting from deep indicate he has a ways to go.

Hardy can hit tough contested shots and deliver high-leverage passes, but neither are consistent enough to make him a plug-and-play starter in the NBA. But his athletic ceiling and  flashes of brilliance indicate he could be a star in the pros with a little more seasoning and the right kind of development.

Given the Dallas Mavericks already have the diminutive Jalen Brunson on the roster, Hardy’s height is a concern. But his 6-foot-9 wingspan offers hope and prevents him from being too much of a liability when defending bigger players.

Maturity and some forgettable play early in his G-league career will likely play a part in his draft stock, but right now he’s universally considered a lottery-talent who will probably slip into the back of the first round.

Assuming the Dallas Mavericks re-sign Jalen Brunson this summer, the need for another guard isn’t overly huge. But when a talent like Hardy falls and a team like the Dallas Mavericks has time to wait and develop, it might not matter at all.

Sports Dallas Fort-Worth
Sports Dallas Fort-Worth /

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