51 picks came and went without San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels hearing his name called. The redshirt sophomore patiently waited through those first 51 picks, but at pick #52 the Charlotte Hornets selected McDaniels.
This year at San Diego State he averaged 15.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, both improvements on last year. He shot a respectable 46.6% from the field and 32.0% from beyond the arc. A relentless rebounder and improved scorer, McDaniels recorded 11 double-doubles on the season.
A big concern coming into the draft was his size and his shooting. Scouts were worried about which position he would play in the league. At 6-10 he is tall enough to play down low, however people are unsure that he can guard the four due to his slight build. They also are unsure that he can shoot well enough to play the three in the NBA.
The Hornets obviously saw the positives in McDaniels that most scouts miss. He has a high motor and an improved shot. While he did not shoot it exceptionally well in college, his shot does not need a full retool to be a weapon. He is a good athlete and strong defender. He is a definite stretch four that you find in today’s NBA and with hard work he can find a spot.
It is likely that McDaniels will go to the Summer League and fight for his spot on the Hornets roster. He will have an opportunity to make a Hornets team, which is in need of a roster overhaul and could use a player like him.