Mavericks rookie shooting guard Jaden Hardy, the No. 37 pick in the 2022 draft, enjoyed a stellar Summer League debut on Friday, finishing with 28 points on 9-of-19 field goal shooting during a 100-99 overtime loss to the Bulls. Selby Lopez of the Dallas Morning News details Hardy’s big night.
“Jaden did a great job,” Mavericks assistant coach and Summer League team head coach Greg St. Jean said. “I think that’s part of the process here of putting him in those situations, then being able to review the film and talk through it… I think it’s a great start for him, and we’re going to learn a lot from the film.”
The 6’4″ guard averaged 17.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 3.2 APG while with the G League Ignite during the 2021/22 season. His efficiency left something to be desired, however, as he connected on just 35.1% of his field goal attempts.
There’s more out of Dallas:
- Dallas team owner Mark Cuban expressed his excitement for former Maverick Jalen Brunson agreeing to sign a lucrative four-year, $104MM new deal with the Knicks, but revealed that Dallas was not able to counter with a potential contract of its own in free agency this summer, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “It really wasn’t about the amount of money,” Cuban said while at the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League. “We really didn’t get a chance to make an offer. It was Jalen’s choice. And I understand it. He knew those guys his entire life. He grew up there. It makes perfect sense… We wanted him to stay, but he had his reason, and I respect that.” The latest intel on the contract suggests that the Knicks will sign Brunson using cap space, rather than via a sign-and-trade with the Mavericks.
- Mavericks Summer League point guard Jerrick Harding is hoping to latch on at the next level, writes Eddie Sefko of Mavericks.com. “I ended my senior year [at Weber State], and this was in 2020, so COVID hit and all that was going on,” he said. “So basically the whole summer I was waiting. There were no workouts, no summer league, there was no anything.” Harding signed on with Czech National Basketball League club ERA Nymburk in 2020 and has played with them for two seasons. “[They’re] the best team in the Czech Republic. They play in the Champions League. So I figured it would be a good spot for me. I didn’t want to sit and wait. I might not have a job, know what I mean if I stayed in the states.” Now with Dallas’s Summer League club, the 6’1″ guard is eager to prove himself.
- Following two seasons played on one-year contracts, new Mavericks center JaVale McGee opted for a bit more security this time around in free agency, inking a three-year, $20.4MM deal with Dallas. “The past couple of years, I really wanted to focus on consistency and comfortability,” McGee said of his new opportunity, per Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Though the three-time champion fit in well with a 64-18 Suns team and seemed a safe bet to return for 2022/23, the team’s uncertain future this summer compelled him to look elsewhere for a long-term contract. “I think it was more of having to wait for [restricted free agent] Deandre Ayton and now [Kevin Durant], trying to figure it out,” McGee said. “For me, it was just like at this stage of my career and what I’m looking for, I don’t have time to be waiting on somebody else.”