A premier high school recruit, Jaden Hardy’s game struggled to translate to the NBA G League, but he showed promising flashes. Hardy was the two time Gatorade Player of the Year in Nevada, so he has a track record of scoring success from high school. On the year with the G League Elite, Hardy averaged 19.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG, and 3.3 TOPG on shooting splits of 38/32/81. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Jaden Hardy
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’8, N/A
Hand size: N/A
Pre-Draft team: G League Ignite
- Capable passer on the move
- Elite shooting range
- High release on jumper; can shoot over defenders quickly
- Great shooting touch (highlighted by FT%)
- Thrives in the P&R
- Tight handle in traffic
- Stiff moving jumper
- Minimal impact defender
- Awkward the way he brings the ball up on his jumper
- Inconsistent footwork on jump shots
- Needs to add strength
- Must get more consistent at finishing over defenses at the rim
- Inefficient volume scorer; will have to shoot above ~42% to stick in the NBA
- Needs to speed up his floater/runner
Jaden Hardy was my preseason number one prospect, but with his highly inefficient season and lack of scoring at the rim, this stance became impossible to defend. Hardy has similarities to Cameron Thomas from last year, who had a successful rookie campaign. However, the ball security differences, athleticism gap, lack of separation, and turnover rate separate them from each other too much to foresee Jaden Hardy’s slightly outdated game translating. Being a mediocre sized guard that doesn’t play defense and is an inefficient scorer is difficult to translate to the NBA as a positive player.
Similar to: Kevin Porter JR, Cameron Thomas, OJ Mayo, Dion Waiters
Projected draft range: 15-39
Expected role: Volume bench scorer with lite playmaking abilities.
Unplayable if: Scoring is inefficient and he becomes a black hole on offense with no defensive impact.
Exceeds expectations if: Scoring translates at a high volume with league-average efficiency.