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Jaden Hardy
Position: G
Born: 07/05/02
Height: 6-4 / 1.93
Weight:198 lbs. / 89.8 kg.
Salary: $1,017,781
Flash forward four years, and since starting summer league training camp on his 20th birthday last week, the former top-five high school prospect whom Dallas acquired in a second-round draft-night trade has displayed the same characteristics as the Mavericks’ coaching staff learns and evaluates how the next stage of his oft-hyped career will progress. “I for sure had a chip on my shoulder,” Jaden Hardy said. “I really want to prove myself right. I didn’t really care about other people. I want to prove myself right.”
Hardy first walked into a Las Vegas-area gym at 14-years-old preparing to move from Detroit to start high school closer to his brother, former UNLV guard Amauri. Kaufman had connected with the Hardys when he learned about the potential transfer, and invited Jaden to a workout at Coronado High School. Midway through the shooting regimen — Hardy dazzling around the arc and Ramsey rebounding every attempt — Kaufman turned to an assistant and asked: ”Hey man, is he really, really good, or do I just want him to be really good?’ The assistant, who’d worked with top prospects at local prep programs and in college, responded: “He’s way better as a freshman. Way better.”
Hardy once scored 62 points in a Coronado game with no shot clock. He became a McDonald’s All-American. He ranked second in ESPN’s Class of 2021 rankings behind star rookie Chet Holmgren. “He was the No. 1 player in high school basketball,” Kaufman said of Hardy. “They said it was Chet Holmgren, but we smashed Chet Holmgren’s team when we played against them. We smashed them. We were up 25 at halftime.”