Jaden McDaniels is a polarizing prospect with a ton of talent. With an up and down freshman year at Washington, do the New York Knicks have enough faith in their newly-hired development staff to take this risk?
For the New York Knicks, with a new front office, sans current general manager Scott Perry, drafting a group of players that can help New York in the present and the future is of the utmost importance, making the upcoming draft – in which the Knicks have three picks – a top priority this offseason.
Boom or Bust. You might hear this phrase a lot as we get closer to the NBA draft. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman ranked the University of Washington’s Jaden McDaniels number three in his top five ‘Boom or Bust’ prospects for this year’s draft. NBA front offices make their money in risk assessment.
As a result, the ability to accurately forecast how McDaniels’ talent will translate to the pros could either lead to an extension or a pink slip.
Currently, McDaniels is slotted as a mid-to-late first-round pick in most mock drafts. The six-foot-nine (with a six-foot-eleven wingspan), 200 pound, Seattle native posted averages of 13 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, while shooting just over 40 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from the three-point line. Not exactly an example of efficiency. Yet teams will be enamored with his athleticism and the fact that he won’t turn 20 years old until later this month.
Bloggers who enjoy an exercise in hyperbole have compared McDaniels to Kevin Durant. On the low end, he’s also received comparisons to current Knick Kevin Knox. Like Knox, McDaniels is viewed as a project with a wide range of outcomes. Theoretically, he could be drafted at the 27th spot, or earlier.
Let’s review his strengths, weaknesses, and fit with the Knicks.