The versatile K.J. McDaniels is a prospect you most likely haven’t heard much about through the 2014 NBA Draft process, however, between his outstanding athletic and defensive ability, he was probably on the Chicago Bulls‘ radar a long time ago.
The former Clemson Tiger is a 6-foot-6 wing player with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and possesses off-the-charts athleticism. McDaniels used his length to cause problems on defense and is thought of as a elite defender. To show for it, he averaged 2.8 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.
With that being said, his offensive game wasn’t always there, but he has the potential to become a scorer as he improved his shot from his sophomore year to his junior campaign. He still needs to improve his jump shot and ball-handling skills, but was still able to average 17 points last season.
McDaniels also has an uncanny rebounding ability for his size, particularly on the offensive end, where he thrives on put-back slams.
What he does do well on the offensive end is attack the rim. Using his athleticism, he was able to capitalize on put-backs, alley-oops and is also a good slasher. Right now, his game is around the rim (and above it), but if he is able to develop a jumper and a three-point shot, he could end up being one of the steals of the draft.
Sound like anyone you know, Bulls fans? Perhaps a guy out of Marquette named Jimmy Butler? McDaniels’ game is almost identical to that of Butler — a defensive stopper with an offensive game in the works that attacks the offensive boards for put-back dunks.
It is possible the Bulls hold onto Taj Gibson and trade Butler; if that were to happen, McDaniels would make all the sense in the world for the Bulls as a replacement.
McDaniels would be a nice addition to any team trying to add athleticism and elite defenders to the mix.