Former Boston Celtics guard-forward Marquis Daniels was in a group of five players that practiced in an informal workout on Monday for the Milwaukee Bucks. With one spot remaining on the roster, does Daniels have what it takes to make the team for this upcoming season?
The nine-year veteran started his career out with the Dallas Mavericks, who signed him to a one-year, minimum contract in 2003 after going undrafted out of Auburn. Daniels had a remarkable rookie season in which he averaged 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 49.4 percent from the field in 18.6 minutes of playing time. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team for his outstanding play.
Daniels became a starter and signed a six-year, $38 million contract with the Mavericks during the 2004 offseason. He played three seasons with Dallas before being traded to the Indiana Pacers for Austin Croshere at the end of the 2006 season.
Daniels played only three years in Indiana, but the 2008-09 season was his best statistical season of his career to date. In 54 games, he averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and converted 45.1 percent from the field.
The Pacers did not pick up the last year of his contract in 2009, which made him a free agent. The Celtics used him mostly in a reserve role where he played the least amount of minutes in his career and started only four games over a three-year span. Daniels’ numbers went way down but that does not mean he still cannot play.
The 6-foot-6 Daniels would be a perfect fit in a reserve role with the Bucks. Since Milwaukee has been criticized for lacking size at the guard position, Daniels would certainly upgrade that. With only four guards currently on the roster, it would make sense for the Bucks to acquire one more guard in case injuries take place. Not to mention, Daniels has also shown the ability to play the small forward position.
Currently, 6-foot-4 rookie Doron Lamb is the only backup behind Monta Ellis at shooting guard. I personally have high hopes for Lamb, as I believe he was the best second-round pick out of this year’s NBA Draft. However, I am sure Milwaukee would prefer to have someone with more experience to play the reserve minutes. This way Lamb can watch and learn the game from the top veterans.
The Bucks still have to invite Daniels to camp, something I believe they definitely should. They will also probably invite former Wisconsin Badgers great Alando Tucker to create competition between the two players. I believe Daniels has the upper hand if these two go head-to-head, but head coach Scott Skiles looks for different qualities in a player than most coaches. One thing is for sure, even if Daniels does not make it with Milwaukee he will get picked up somewhere else.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.