The Dallas Mavericks announced Thursday that they signed second-round pick Jaden Hardy to his rookie contract.
Hardy, the 37th pick in the NBA draft last month, reportedly signed a three-year, $4.8 million contract with Dallas, according to Marc Stein on Substack.
The Mavericks entered the June 23 draft without a draft pick after they traded their No.26 overall draft pick, Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, and Sterling Brown, to the Houston Rockets in exchange for forward/center Christan Wood.
However, the team completed a draft-night deal to acquire the rights to Hardy from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for 2024 and 2028 second-round picks.
Hardy attended Coronado High School in Henderson, Nevada, where he excelled, winning Nevada’s Gatorade Player of the Year honors and the Las Vegas Review-Journal Boys Athlete of the Year award.
The 6-4 guard was considered an elite high school prospect, earning the No.4 overall ranking in 247Sports’ class of 2021 prospect rankings. Hardy was ranked only behind Chet Holmgren (who was selected No.2 overall by Oklahoma City in this year’s draft), Paulo Banchero (selected first overall by Orlando), and Shaedon Sharpe (No.7 overall to Portland).
Hardy received offers from over a dozen schools, including Arizona, Georgetown, Kentucky, and Memphis. Ultimately, he chose to bypass college and play for the NBA’s G-League Ignite.
The 20-year-old averaged 19.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 37.6% shooting from the field in 24 games in the G-League last season. He struggled early in the season but came on late, scoring double digits in each of his last eight games.
Hardy was expected to be a first-round pick by some analysts and himself. He is now excited to be on the Mavericks and plans to use his slide down the draft as motivation entering the upcoming season.
“I’m coming out with a chip on my shoulder. I feel like there’s a lot for me that I want to prove out there. And so, I’m coming in with a chip on my shoulder,” Hardy said. “I want to learn. I want to get better. And I want them guys to pour it all on me. Like, just give me the knowledge.”
In other team news, the Mavericks have also agreed to re-sign guard/forward Theo Pinson. Pinson joined Dallas midway through the 2021-2022 season, averaging 2.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game in the 19 games he played.