The Charlotte Hornets already have one pair of brothers on the roster with Cody and Caleb Martin. They could use their early second round pick to add a second set of brothers to the team. Jalen McDaniels brother Jaden is currently slated to go around the turn between the first and second round, and he could be the best option available for the Hornets at 32.
Weight: 200 pounds
Strengths: Potential skill set at size, shooting ability
Most of Jaden McDaniels’ appeal is in his potential rather than his current production. He has shown rare skills for a player of his size, though he hasn’t been able to make an impact consistently. He’s fluid and handles the ball well, which gives him the ability to create open jump shots for himself. He has the ball in his hands a lot for a forward and shows glimpses of being able to make plays for his teammates, though he does turn the ball over a lot. His length and fluidity allow him to guard multiple positions and be disruptive off the ball, both in passing lanes and at the rim.
McDaniels’ shooting stroke is his most identifiable skill. He shot 33.9% from three, but that number is a bit deflated by his shot selection. He took a lot of 3-pointers off the dribble, which hurt his percentage, but also showed how much potential for growth he has in this area. He was a knockdown shooter off the catch, which will more directly translate to his role in the NBA.
Weaknesses: Production/consistency, decision making
While McDaniels has shown the ability to do a little bit of everything, he hasn’t done anything well consistently. His box score numbers are underwhelming, and he was eventually moved to the bench in the last couple months of the season. His advanced stats like box plus-minus, win shares, and offensive/defensive ratings are all terrible.
McDaniels efficiency is limited by his decision making. He shot 40.5% from the field, largely because of questionable shot selection. He settles for a lot of tough pull-up jump shots and takes way too many shots from just inside the 3-point line. He committed 4.2 turnovers and 4.3 fouls per 40 minutes, and he fouled out of eight games.
I know this scouting report is kind of brief, but that’s kind of emblematic of who Jaden McDaniels is as a prospect. He played 31 games at Washington, but he’s still a bit of a mystery. He has tons of talent and shows a little bit of everything you want to see in a young prospect, but he clearly has a long way to go before he puts it all together. The Hornets, or whoever decides to pick him, will have to trust that he’ll learn how to best use his tools as he matures and develops.