19.6 Years Old
By Max Feldman
- Elite size for a wing at 6-10, 200 pounds
- Extremely rare skillset for his measurement similar to MPJ, Ingram, Isaac
- Soft touch in the mid-range shooting over smaller wings
- Hesitation and pivot consistently stuns opponents
- Strong P & R ball handler, displays incredibly high scoring upside
- Good patience and instincts when blocking shots
- Finishes through contact, gets to the line often
- Smooth release from distance off the catch and pull ups
- Uses wingspan to cut passing lanes and rebound efficiently
- Bouncy athlete combining with his length creates mismatches
- Poor decision maker, consistently immature reads
- Negative assist to turnover ratio
- Can stall an offense, ball sticks in his hands
- Poor in transition
- Used spacing poorly making it easy to defend all 5 players
- Lacks aggression at times, can disappear temporarily
- Inconsistent motor diminishes ability to be an alpha
Jaden McDaniels is a pro. The lanky wing struggled at times due to immaturity, lack of toughness and physicality as well as a weak supporting cast outside of Isaiah Stewart. Yet, the 6-10 wing has a skillset similar to lottery picks of the past and is likely to be a better pro than collegiate player.
Watching McDaniels at his best, you might see a top 5 picks, and at other times you might not even realize he is on the court. Besides playmaking for others, there is nothing McDaniels is not capable of with the ball in his hands. A smooth high release off of spot ups and pull ups combined with a smooth hesitation move and hang dribbles makes the 19-year-old a matchup problem. McDaniels rated in the 77th percentile as a P&R ball handler, extremely promising for a 6-10 wing. He shot nearly ten times per game, and while the numbers were not bad, efficiency from the free throw line points towards a potential increase from his 34% from three at the next level. In transition, Jaden was very poor. The majority of his turnovers came from going to quickly, misuse of spacing and filling the lane. He has tools to be a centerpiece scorer, but lacked consistency and an ability to establish his presence each and every game like other potential lottery picks.
Defensively, McDaniels showed promise as a versatile defender, but his skillset was a bit skewed due to the prominence of the zone at Washington. He has the quickness and instincts to guard smaller players and the length to disrupt shots at the rim, blocking well over one shot per game.
McDaniels will not contribute massively at the beginning of his career and is in need of mentorship and an NBA weight program. His assist numbers will never be high. With all of this, McDaniels still holds every tool necessary to become an All-Star eventually. The inconsistency was ever present but there is no doubt McDaniels at times flashed as much potential as just about any player in the class. Players with similar skillsets and bodies like Michael Porter Jr, Brandon Ingram, and Cam Reddish all took some time to transition to the league, but are all on the road to success, and McDaniels is a strong candidate to follow the same route.