Well, the Dallas Mavericks finished the NBA Summer League winless.

What’s new.

But in Dallas’ 0-5 stint in Las Vegas, two items stood out amongst play that wasn’t always particularly exciting and far from breathtaking.

1.) Consistency will be the key for Jaden Hardy

Jaden Hardy, Dallas’ draft-night selection, vacillated between impressive and worrying during his stint at the NBA Summer League.

He averaged 15 points per game on 37.6% field goal shooting. He demonstrated an adept ability to be a tough shot taker and maker. But he also showcased his limitations on the defensive end and in his decision-making.

He averaged nearly five fouls per contest. And often, he picked them up in head-scratching ways.

In short, he looked exactly like the G League version of himself, providing ample evidence that development will be a long, process-driven, road for him.

Untapped potential

Still, the Mavericks are high on him. And the organization has a firm belief that he will turn into a quality NBA player.

“He’s 19 years old,” Mavericks assistant coach Jared Dudley said. “At 19, I was eating pizza at Boston College.

“This kid’s got a long way to go, he’s got great coaches, and a staff that wants to work with him. He’s going to be tired of us as much as we want to work with him. Give this kid a couple of years and let’s see where he’s at.”

In Hardy’s opinion, despite the struggles, he feels like he played fine.

“I feel like I did pretty good,” He said. “I’m just coming in and trying to do what the coaching staff wanted me to do. Play the right way, make the right play and then really just focus on my defense and try to become a better defender.”

As for how much pressure Hardy put on himself during the NBA Summer League — he looked at it as merely a chance to play in front of a crowd and get better.

“I didn’t look at it as pressure,” He said. “I just looked at it as another opportunity to go out there and play a game that I love.”

He’s saying the right things. Now, it comes down to his game evolving in the right way. Summer League wasn’t an announcement of Hardy’s arrival. It was a declaration that, for Hardy to get where he needs to be, it will take time.

2.) A.J. Lawson surprised 

If Hardy held all the pressure coming into summer league, A.J. Lawson was a pleasant surprise.

He averaged 15.6 points on 51.9 percent shooting overall and 50 percent on his three-point attempts. He also averaged six rebounds and 1.4 assists. And his 15.6 points per game was the best mark on the team.

He showed fluidity in his game and versatility. Lawson’s calling card was his ability to fit in seamlessly in a positionless scheme. And if he, one day, ends up playing next to Luka Doncic, that versatility will be an asset.

“For my game itself, I’m just a big guard,” he said. “I can play 1-2-3, sometimes even 4. I can defend 1 through 4 for sure. That’s just me. I’m a versatile player. I feel like it’s always been that way my whole life since high school when I had my growth spurt.”

Lawson’s versatility allowed him to poor in 28 points against the Chicago Bulls. He followed that up with a 15 and 12 performance against the Utah Jazz.

He played to impress. So, as the Mavericks head into the quiet portion of the NBA Summer, his play in the NBA Summer League ought to be on the front office’s mind.

Related Dallas Mavericks reading

“AtoZ Mavs: Summer League expectations.” 
“Mavericks: Is Kyrie Irving the answer for Dallas?”

Feature image via Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.