The summer league is a unique time that players, coaches, and general managers are all in the same place at the same time. The potential for in person negotiations amongst teams is really quite intriguing, especially in an offseason that has already seen an enormous return in exchange for Rudy Gobert.
While the market has been relatively stagnant since the trade request of Kevin Durant, Maverick fans have continued to mount excitement behind the Jaden Hardy draft selection.
Jaden Hardy was ranked 2nd overall coming out of high school, ahead of players such as Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith.
Hardy opted to play for the G-League Ignite, the NBA’s developmental program for elite prospects, as opposed to the traditional college path. For the Ignite, Hardy was widely considered one of the premier scorers with the ability to score at all three levels and create shots for himself. His draft stock, however, dropped due to offensive inefficiency.
In five summer league games with the Mavs, Hardy averaged a respectable 15 points. He did, however, show flashes of why he was so highly touted coming out of high school. In his summer league debut, he finished with 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting.
With Brunson departing to New York, high expectations have fallen upon Hardy… mostly by fans.
Kidd stated on NBA today at the summer league that Spencer Dinwiddie would step into the starting lineup. You have to think that GM Nico Harrison brought in Dinwiddie with a potential Brunson departure in mind. Kidd also revealed that he would bring Christian Wood off the bench.
It is clear that Kidd values maintaining the two playmaker lineup, as well as retaining Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock in the starting lineup. While McGee will start, nobody will be surprised when Wood receives more minutes.
All this to say I don’t believe that this roster will have the same makeup come opening night.