NBA Draft Spotlight: Jalen McDaniels

A likely All-Mountain West selection, Jalen McDaniels is almost a lock to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft as he did last year. It will be interesting to see how the pre-draft process goes this time around. He could have one of the more volatile draft stocks in this year’s class, potentially peaking some teams interest in the late first-round.

Position: PF From: San Diego State Class/YOB: Sophomore
Height: 6’10 Weight: 195 Wingspan: 7’0

Strengths:

  • Plus athleticism. Springy finisher around the rim with and an effortless sprinter
  • Uses length well on the defensive end. Has a knack for making it difficult to make skip passes or swing the ball by getting in passing lanes. Moves well side-to-side and is better suited to defend wings at this point
  • Promising jump shot. Likes to take a lot of jumpers from range. Hasn’t improved as much as I would have liked to see, but it’s a moldable tool. Follow through is nice and he has good touch
  • Good ball-handler at 6’10. Looks smooth breaking guys down off the dribble. Very comfortable pushing on the break and finding space with his handle
  • Works to stay in motion on offense. Sets up cuts well. Runs around to find space and goes to the glass regularly for second chances
  • Mid-post game is a work-in-progress, but has potential. Shoots well off of pivots and can get to the rim off rip-and-go moves

Weaknesses:

  • Very skinny. Easily knocked off his path. Pushed outside of his position when he tries to post-up. Ends up at 15-18 feet instead of 10-12. Doesn’t have a body type that looks like it will put on a lot of bulk
  • Not the shot-blocker you would expect given his size and athleticism. Lacks the timing and aggressiveness coming over to protect the rim
  • Shooting looks good, but he hasn’t been able to expand out to become a consistent three-point shooter
  • Can be loose with the ball, leaving it exposed to defenders’ hands
  • Often hindered by physicality and size around the rim. Will need to develop a floater or close-range pull-up
  • Teams will look at him as a guy that could potentially guard multiple positions. He has to work on using his feet more to compete in the post. Defensive discipline on the perimeter isn’t great. Can be lured into fouls and overcommitting

Stats:

PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% 3PT% FT%
14.2 10.5 2.0 0.6 1.8 2.8 64.7% 25.0% 76.7%

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