National Basketball Association

Jaden Hardy follows Jalen Green, Michael Foster in choosing G League

May 16

The kids call what Jaden Hardy did on Saturday "getting to the bag."

Hardy, a 5-star guard out of Coronado High School in Henderson, Nevada, announced that he will sign a deal to join the NBA G League Ignite team, choosing the league's newly-developed pathway program over UCLA and other college destinations.

The news was first broken by Shams Charania on Saturday morning.

Hardy is the highest-ranked player to opt for the G League so far this year. He is the second-ranked player in the 2021 class according to ESPN, and the third-ranked player according to 247sports and Rivals. 

Hardy is best known for his ability – simply put – to get buckets, and Josh Gershon, national recruiting analyst for 247sports, believes that Hardy is a cut above his classmates when it comes to scoring the basketball, comparing him to Washington Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal.

"Hardy is the best offensive player in the senior class. He gets buckets from four different ranges on the floor and is elite at creating his own shot on demand. He has the touch of an elite scorer who can hit jumpers with a high degree of difficulty.

"He has tremendous range out to the NBA three-point line that stretches a defense and opens up driving lanes for his teammates. He draws comparisons to Bradley Beal due to his shooting stroke, and ability to take over a game with his knack to score."

Hardy won't be alone in his decision to join the G League Ignite program, with consensus top-20 forward Michael Foster also slated to join the professional ranks.

It should come as no surprise that the G League is becoming a viable option for elite high school prospects after seeing the success of Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga in the first year that high school players were allowed to choose the NBA pathway route.

Green was seen as a top-three recruit in the 2020 high school class, and after a strong showing as a member of Ignite, he is now projected to be a top-five pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Kuminga, a fellow top-10 prospect in the 2020 high school class, also improved his draft standing in the G League and is now comfortably seen as a lottery pick in the 2021 draft as well.

Now Hardy, as well as Foster, will try and follow in the footsteps of both Green and Kuminga, parlaying a strong season against professionals into solidifying their standing as high first-round talents.

Here are some of the reactions to Hardy's announcement.

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