In an appearance on the Posted Up podcast with Chris Haynes, G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy sounded confident that he should be a top pick in the 2022 NBA draft (Twitter link via Yahoo Sports).
“I feel like I’m the best player in this draft, if you ask me. Playing in the NBA G League, I mean it’s the second-best league in the world. I’ve played against people that are playing in the NBA right now, like Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga. Like those guys are on the Warriors getting good minutes and they were just playing against me. So I’m playing against NBA talent,” Hardy said.
The 6’4″ guard is currently No. 26 on ESPN’s best available players list, but Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has him No. 13 on his latest Big Board.
Here are some more draft-related notes:
- Freshman forward Josh Minott is entering the draft and will initially keep his college eligibility, but he has no intention of returning to Memphis, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Minott is No. 54 on ESPN’s best available list, but he hopes to move up draft boards in June. “I plan to be like Josh Primo [a surprise No. 12 pick in the 2021 draft] coming out of the woodwork this spring,” Minott said. “I will listen to the NBA’s feedback. If they feel I’m a first-round talent and want to invest in me, that would be the best situation.” John Hollinger of The Athletic likes Minott as a sleeper, as we previously relayed.
- Jordan Nesbitt of Saint Louis has declared for the draft (via Twitter). The 6’6″ guard averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds on .391/.337/.692 shooting as a sophomore for the Billikens. Based on the wording of his announcement, it sounds like he plans to forgo his remaining eligibility.
- French point guard Hugo Benitez will also declare for the draft, his agent Herman Manakyan told ESPN’s Givony (Twitter link). Benitez, who turned 21 in January, is averaging 7.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals on .509/.395/.875 shooting for JL Bourg of the LNB Pro A league. Givony states that Benitez is a good defensive player who displays intelligence and maturity in pick-and-rolls.
5 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Hardy, Minott, Nesbitt, Benitez”
I could definitely see Minott go 1st rd. Dallas is a team that should have interest in him & they pick in the early 20s. Ultra-athletic forward with a lot of dog in him.. Jaden Hardy reminds me a lot of Baron Davis but with a better body
Jaden Hardy is Shooting 35% on Field Goals. 27% on 3-point shots.
Granted, he’s 19 and playing against grown Men but I think if his FG% was better, then sure, he is a lock for being a Lottery pick.
As it is, maybe he’ll go somewhere between 15 to 25.
What pgs are better than him?.. remember LaMelo shot poorly in his NBL season. Rookie guards are always gonna struggle to shoot efficiently & it’s magnified when you’re 18 as a rookie
TyTy Washington, Blake Wesley, all mocked in the same range. Not saying they are better, simply different Options. Based on most Mocks out there, there is not a true PG mocked in the Top 10 currently.
Good points… In a PG-weak class, Hardy should benefit from a couple factors…
A recent Athletic article said there was a 24% increase around the league in switching high screens, meaning PGs have to be graded on switching ability like centers have been. That would point to PG size.
I still am a bit dubious the ignite path is optimal tho. It would be better if he had a team involved.
Minot compares himself to Josh Primo. I suspect there is no connection.