Former Clemson star KJ McDaniels was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round with the 32nd overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. In 2014, McDaniels averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and an incredible 2.8 blocks per game. He also had an impressive defensive year, earning ACC Defensive Player of the Year recognition. Although he led Clemson in scoring, McDaniels’ offensive game is not quite NBA ready as he needs to develop a more consistent jump shot and ball handling skills. However, the enormous progress he showed from his sophomore to junior season is an encouraging sign that he could quickly become a consistent offensive threat in the NBA. He was drafted, however, for his outstanding defensive abilities due to his great work ethic and unbeatable athleticism that could have benefited any NBA squad.
McDaniels will join a wave of youth that will be arriving in Philadelphia since the team has a total of 7 picks in the draft this year. With that in mind, it is difficult to say exactly what role he will fill, but it is certain that it will be one of a shutdown defender and hustle player. It is also possible that, with the influx of young players, McDaniels could be traded before the start of the season. If KJ does stay in Philadelphia, he will have a great opportunity to get good playing time as a rookie and to develop quickly. The Sixers have consistently been one of the worst teams over the last couple years and McDaniels should be given the opportunity to see significant minutes, most likely off the bench, very early in his career.