Luka Doncic is a big believer in Dallas Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy. The 20-year-old Hardy has taken a noticeably expanded role of late for the Mavs, but for Doncic, he's long been impressed by the rookie.

“Since the beginning of the season, I saw his potential, even in the preseason,” Luka Doncic said of Hardy (via Callie Caplan The Dallas Morning News). “But his improvement through the season was insane.”

This current version of the Mavs is still heavily dependent on Luka Doncic, but the team looked so effective last season when Dallas still had both Jalen Brunson and Spener Dinwiddie running alongside the Slovenian superstar. With Brunson and Dinwiddie gone, as Caplan notes, Jaden Hardy could be the piece that could help revitalize that kind of attack that helped the Mavs reach the Western Conference finals.

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This time, Doncic is paired with Kyrie Irving, with Jaden Hardy also starting to gain even more confidence from his teammates and Dallas' coaching staff.

“They both give me confidence,” Hardy said of his superstar teammates in Doncic and Irving. “Just always in my ear trying to help me, just asking them when I’m out there on the floor what they see, and then them just telling me, and it helps me when I’m out there.”

On the season, Hardy, who was taken in the second round (37th overall) by the Sacramento Kings in the 2022 NBA Draft before getting traded shortly thereafter to the Mavs, is averaging just 8.8 points per game this season but has put up 16.4 points per game in March.