The average basketball fan probably doesn’t know the name K.J. McDaniels — at least, not yet.
But according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, many will shortly after the NBA draft. On Tuesday, he revealed his latest mock draft in which he listed McDaniels as one of the names that NBA GMs were very high on, even though he is still projected to be picked in the 20’s.
However, even if he’s picked that low, he still has the ability to be one of the bigger sleeper picks in this draft. Especially with all the praise and talk the top of the draft is warranting.
The 6-foot-6 McDaniels averaged 17 points and seven rebounds as a junior at Clemson this past season. If Andrew Wiggins wasn’t in this draft, the argument could be made that McDaniels is the most athletic wing player in this draft. He’s an explosive leaper that uses his excellently long frame to his advantage on both sides of the floor.
Someone late in the first round could find themselves with one of the better projects in this draft. Of course, he needs to fall to the right team. He needs to be properly groomed and developed, not forced to produce.