Jaden McDaniels (Washington, PF, Freshman)
NBA Position: SF/PF
NBA Comparison: Jonathan Isaac
Strengths: 6’11 versatile forward … Good size and length for position with a 6’11.5 wingspan and 8’11 standing reach … Good agility, mobility, and fluidity at his size. Good athleticism and body control. Finishes plays above the rim with ease … Good potential as a jump shooter, especially in catch and shoot situations. Shoots with no wasted motion and quick release. Scores from midrange and has range out to three. Scored 19.2 points per game while shooting 50% FG% over the Nike EYBL in 2018 … Solid court vision and passing ability for his size … Good rebounder on both ends. Finished seventh over the Nike EYBL in 2018 with 9.3 rebounds per game with 3.1 per game coming on offense … Good versatility as a defender with his size, mobility, and coordination. Averaged 1.4 blocks per game over the Nike EYBL in 2018 … Late bloomer with long-term upside …
Weaknesses: Still improving as a three-point shooter. Shot 29.2% 3P% at 4.1 attempts per game over the Nike EYBL in 2018 … Half-court offense has a way to go, as well as playing off the ball. Offense can be predictable. Tends to settle for contested pull-ups even in transition. Can improve getting to the rim and scoring off the dribble … Must be more assertive, tends to blend in … Can get more action playing off the ball, tends to settle for spotting up on the perimeter … Can develop a post-game to utilize size mismatches around the basket … Solid passing ability but telegraphs passes at times and can limit the turnovers. Averaged 2.9 turnovers per game over the Nike EYBL in 2018 … Very skinny and has a lot of room to get stronger in both upper and lower body. Only weighed 182 pounds at the 2018 USA Minicamp in October of his senior year ...
Jaden McDaniels' talent and skill versatility suggest he should be closer to the top five. However, his impact and execution aren't always consistent, so that's what he'll need to show more of during what will likely be his only season at Washington.
For a 6'9" forward, McDaniels' game screams mismatch with ball-handling ability in the open floor, a smooth shooting stroke and the ability to create for himself. His defensive tools and range are also promising and point to valuable switchability.
Will he be a highlights-over-substance player? Can he contribute during games in which his jumper won't fall?
Those are the question marks that could push McDaniels down into the 20s. But consistent flashes of inside-out scoring, effort translating to easy baskets and defensive concentration could move him closer to the top of the board.