DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks were defeated by the Detroit Pistons on Friday, losing 107-89. Dallas played without Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Dereck Lively II in the game, however. All three players will sit out Sunday's regular season finale as well. As a result, a number of Mavericks young players are receiving opportunities to make an impact.

Jaden Hardy led the charge on Friday. He scored 25 points and recorded seven rebounds. Olivier Maxence-Prosper also had a strong game, scoring 16 points and adding six rebounds. Prosper also had a jaw-dropping dunk that belongs on a poster.

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Many struggling teams feature young and developing players with potential. Sometimes, the better teams in the league don't have potential future stars on their rosters. However, the Mavericks happen to be a competitive playoff team with young and exciting talent as well.

“It's very exciting, it's very promising when you talk about Hardy and O-Max (Prosper),” Jason Kidd said of the Mavs' future outlook with their combination of stars and talented young players. “Just the development, also just the depth that you can see because those two didn't get a lot of minutes this season because of our depth. Again, as we move forward… Those two are young guys that can fill spots when others are gone or hurt. Just understanding what those two are doing right now. Being patient, waiting their turn.”

Hardy, Prosper take advantage of playing time opportunity 

Dallas Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy (1) scores a basket against Detroit Pistons forward Troy Brown Jr. (7) during the second half at American Airlines Center.
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Hardy and Prosper knew they had a chance to make an impact on Friday. It was not a perfect game, as Dallas ultimately lost. Yet, the Mavs already have a playoff spot locked up and wanted to give players like Hardy and Prosper opportunities.

“Like you said, tonight was a little bit of an opportunity for me,” Hardy responded when I asked about his minutes increase on Friday against the Pistons. “Be able to play more tonight. Some guys out, I was just trying to go out there and play my game. Coaches want me to be aggressive… I feel like that's what I tried to do.”

Jaden Hardy has displayed signs of stardom when given opportunities. The 21-year-old is averaging 7.2 points per game on 41.1 percent field goal and 36.4 percent three-point shooting across 13.3 minutes per outing. He averaged 8.8 points per game during his 2022-23 rookie season while receiving 14.8 minutes of action per night.

He has a chance to play a pivotal role down the road. For now, he will look to help the Mavericks find success in the playoffs.

Prosper, meanwhile, averaged just 7.7 minutes per game this season, which was his first year in the NBA. He also split time between the NBA and the G League. Prosper impressed at the G League level and also showcased his potential in the NBA.

“Felt pretty good about it,” Prosper said of his performance Friday. “You know, good opportunity for me to be able to get some minutes. I felt good coming into today. Obviously we didn't get the result we wanted, but it was great for my experience. Just being out there, playing with my teammates.”

Mavericks fans excited for Hardy, Prosper's future in NBA

Dallas Mavericks forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper (18) dunks the ball past Detroit Pistons guard Evan Fournier (31) during the second half at American Airlines Center.
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

It goes without saying, but fans were not thrilled about the loss. However, they understand that Dallas was resting their best players on Friday. Fans also took to social media to express their excitement about the future, with their belief in Prosper and Hardy becoming a consistent topic.

“This means the whole world to me, man,” Prosper said of the fans' support. “Just to see how much Dallas, you know, wants me here. See how much the fans appreciate me, just being out there and seeing the love. That says a lot, that says a lot about this franchise and their belief in me and belief in me in the future. I appreciate that from them.”

The future is bright in Dallas. Perhaps the Mavericks have a dynasty coming to fruition. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are two of the best players in the NBA, while other Mavs such as Daniel Gafford, Dereck Lively II, PJ Washington, Josh Green, and Dante Exum have stepped up in 2023-24.

And it would not be surprising to see Hardy and Prosper carve out important roles for the Mavericks at some point down the road.