2020 NBA Draft Profile: Jaden McDaniels
6’10 | SF/PF | 19.6 | Washington | FR
Jaden McDaniels is a late blooming prospect with significant talent who had some phenomenal flashes of talent as a freshman but is still learning how to impact games consistently. His brother, Jalen McDaniels, was drafted 52nd overall by the Hornets in the 2019 NBA Draft. Taking a significant jump forward in the summer before his senior year at Federal Way High School (WA), he finished his prep career regarded as a top-25 prospect in the high school class of 2019 while earning McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American honors. Heading to play for Head Coach Mike Hopkins at Washington, McDaniels emerged as an x-factor for the Huskies averaging 13 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game.
- A lanky 6’10 wing with a skinny 200-pound frame and a near 7’0 wingspan, McDaniels has very good size for a forward. He is a fluid athlete who can play above the rim pretty impressively in space.
- Displaying a budding skill level, McDaniels lacks a degree of consistency, but shows potential as a jump shooter, the ability to create separation off the dribble, and make some heads up passes. Playing on the ball quite a bit for a forward, McDaniels served as a shot creator in spurts for the Huskies even if he did most of his scoring playing off the ball. He had some ups and downs over the course of the season but made tough shots in bunches on several occasions.
- Having some impressive moments defensively contesting shots and getting in the passing lanes in Washington’s zone, McDaniels lacks a degree of strength but shows the ability to apply his length in spots.
- Flashing promising shot-making ability, McDaniels filled a somewhat unique role for the Huskies last season with a third of his possessions coming on spots and off screens away from the ball, but another significant portion coming from a mix of hand offs, isolations, and pick and rolls. McDaniels was one of the only college players to use over 10 possessions over the course of the year in all 11 playtypes Synergy tracks.
- Even with the versatility he displayed, McDaniels did much of his damage spacing the floor and pushing in transition. He averaged 1.18 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [83rd percentile] and 0.88 points per transition possession [28th percentile] as he proved to be a reliable perimeter threat with good natural touch but had some ups and downs as a decision-maker in the open floor pushing the ball himself just as often as he found shots running the wings.
- Showing the ability to make things happen off the dribble in the half court as well, McDaniels leaned heavily on his floor game at times with nearly half of his shot attempts coming on pull-ups split between attempts inside and beyond the arc. Scoring 0.78 points per dribble jump shot in the half court [54th percentile], he got to his pull-up in a variety of ways rising up smoothly out of crossovers while also taking some difficult short-range jumpers off fakes.
- Attacking the rim more aggressively in some spots than others and looking inconsistent with his shooting mechanics off the dribble, McDaniels has no shortage of talent, but is still evolving as a slasher and finding his identity on the offensive end.
|Pick & Roll||Hand Off|
- Possessing the length to contest shots, be a factor in the passing lanes, and even protect the rim some, McDaniels had a number of impressive moments on the defensive end last season in the back line of Washington’s zone.Lacking a degree of strength at this stage, he was not forced to defend the post frequently not was he charged with guarding one-on-one much on the perimeter.
- Turning in several strong performances on the glass, McDaniels can add value as a rebounder when he is dialed in.