Troy Daniels first broke out onto the NBA scene in the 2014 playoffs when he hit the game winner in the Houston Rockets' first round series against the Portland Trailblazers.
After that, Daniels was included in a trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves the following season and eventually ended up with the Charlotte Hornets due to another trade later on around the trade deadline. In his short career thus far, he has been a journeyman already, his current stop being with the Hornets.
In eleven games off the bench for the Hornets, Daniels averaged 7.0 points in just 12.3 minutes per game. The incredible part about this was the fact that despite only playing 12 minutes per game, Daniels averaged 3.5 three point attempts and shot 47.3 percent on those attempts with the Hornets. This is obviously skewed due to the last game of the season in which Daniels hoisted 13 attempts from deep en route to a 24 point performance against the Toronto Raptors. Nevertheless, he still had other games with the Hornets where he was three for six and three for three from deep.
Fit with the Hornets
The Hornets desperately need shooting, coming in last in the league in three point percentage last season. Daniels has proven not just in his time in Charlotte that he can shoot it from deep. During his four years at Virginia Commonwealth University, Daniels was a career 38.7 percent three point shooter, eclipsing 40 percent his senior season. Even more impressive was his year with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets' D-League affiliate. In 48 games with the Vipers, Daniels shot 40.1 percent on 12.5 attempts per game from downtown. The Vipers are known for their high tempo offense, explaining how Daniels hoisted an outrageous amount of attempts from three. Even then, he was able to knock down over 40 percent of them, something that even the best snipers in the NBA would have trouble accomplishing.
As has already been stated, Daniels might be one of the x factors to Charlotte's playoff hopes in 2015-16. Who knows what to expect from the likes of P.J. Hairston and Jeremy Lamb, two young players who have the potential to play well or completely bust. Daniels may be the most ready and consistent one of the entire bunch, something that should give him a leg up going into the season. It wouldn't shock me at all if Daniels was a regular part of the rotation throughout the year and then come late in the season when the rotation narrows, he is one of the last men standing of the backup shooting guard crop.
If there is one thing holding back Daniels from being a constant figure in the lineup, it could be his defense. At 6'4", 205 lbs. he lacks the size and build you want in a wing. This could create complications for him guarding bigger guys on the wings. The NBA is trending towards the types of players who are long and can switch onto guarding multiple positions, making Daniels a possible liability on that end. Playing alongside Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would make things easier, but there probably won't be many times that those two are playing together as a wing combination. Daniels will most likely be playing alongside Marvin Williams, Jeremy Lamb, or P.J. Hairston on the wing, guys who won't be able to help him in that area. On some nights, Daniels presents the possibility of getting exposed on that end.
Ever since Daniels arrived in Charlotte last February at the trade deadline, he has been active in the community. Upon his arrival, he partnered with an organization called Big Brothers, Big Sisters, an organization that sets up kids with mentors. A few weeks ago, Daniels took several kids from the program to a local Build-a-Bear workshop, helping them build bears and spend time with them. Athletes have such a great platform to make an impact in not just the lives of young children, but their surrounding communities as a whole. Even though he hasn't even lived in Charlotte for a year, Daniels has already taken the initiative to be a positive influence in his community, something that shouldn't go unnoticed.
Overall, even if he can't hold his own defensively, no one else on the team has the capability of shooting it near as well as Troy can. That alone is worth not just a flyer, but consistent minutes on a team in desperate need of some floor spacing. It is reasonable to expect that Daniels should start out playing somewhere around 12 minutes per game, with the potential for that to increase to 15-18 minutes if things go well for him. It seems like Daniels has finally landed in a place where he not only should thrive, but will be able to get the opportunity to showcase his skills as well.