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CHGO Bulls 2022 NBA Draft Profiles: Jaden Hardy

Will Gottlieb Avatar
June 13, 2022

We’re only a few days out from the 2022 NBA Draft, CHGO is examining prospects who could be in the Chicago Bulls range with their 18th pick.

Kicking things off, we have Jaden Hardy out of the G League Ignite.

  • Age on Draft night: 19.9
  • Measurables: HT: 6-foot-4
  • G League Ignite: 17.7 pts | 4.2 reb | 3.2 ast | 1.3 stls
  • Shooting splits: 35.1 FG% | 26.9 3P% | 88.2 FT%
  • Projected range: Late 1st

Here are my notes, including strengths, weaknesses or question marks, and potential fit with the Bulls should they take him at 18.

Strengths

Off-the-bounce scoring
  • Despite the numbers, his shot form and touch look really good
  • Creates a ton of space with step back and variety of dribble moves
Pick-and-roll scoring
  • Can pull-up for three when defense goes under screen
  • Gets into mid-range package if defense goes over screens
  • Able to take bigs off the dribble
  • Crafty snaking screens and changing pace
  • Sneaky explosiveness when he gets going downhill
Off-ball potential
  • Great shooting range off-the-catch
  • Shot 40% on catch-and-shoot threes
  • Has the ability to attack closeouts
  • Potential to be a combo scorer next to a lead guard

Question Marks and Weaknesses

What to make of the shooting percentages
  • Shooting splits are major red flags
  • Poor touch at the rim (50%)
  • Doesn’t take contact well or get to the line (2.8 FTA/game despite 28.6 percent usage)
  • 88.2 free throw percent and aesthetically good jumper could be indicators or positive regression
Playmaking Questions
  • Shows flashes of finding bigs on dives in pick-and-roll or corner shooters but nothing too advanced
  • Poor spacing and bad shooters could influence passing and assist numbers
Defense
  • No real resistance on defense
  • Gives up on plays after getting beat
  • Loses track of his man for back cuts
  • Not going to be an impact defender on-or-off ball early in NBA career

Role and potential fit with Bulls

Hardy is one of the more divisive prospects in the draft. Watching him, he clearly has an immense amount of talent, but questions remain about his ability to exist in an NBA ecosystem.

Cam Thomas, the Nets 27th overall pick in the 2021 draft, has been a popular comparison for Hardy. Both are crafty one-on-one scorers who have shown some passing ability but haven’t yet been able to implement that into their game to the point where they impact winning with those kinds of plays.

With uncertainty about Coby White’s future in Chicago, Hardy could be an option to fill that sparkplug scorer the Bulls desperately needed when things bogged down in the playoffs. A high pedigree high school prospect with untapped on-ball potential, Hardy could be one of the steals of the draft, but the potential downsides make him feel like a risk I’d rather let another team take.

Here’s our video breakdown from our CHGO Youtube channel (which you should subscribe to)

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