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The Dallas Mavericks knew they had to be aggressive in the 2022 NBA Draft with Jaden Hardy still on the board in the second round. They traded second-rounders in 2024 and 2028 to acquire the No. 37 overall pick from the Sacramento Kings.

“We had him higher than 37,” Mavs GM Nico Harrison said of Hardy’s position on their board. (He was reportedly at No. 19.) “Yeah, we were surprised. We were really shocked that he kept slipping.”

Hardy elected to play the 2021-22 season with the G League Ignite instead of going through the traditional collegiate route. He averaged 19.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, but he slipped from being the second nationally ranked prospect in his high school class to not being a first-round pick.

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