One of Washington basketball’s five-star freshmen has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft
A few weeks ago, Washington basketball’s Jaden McDaniels posted a highlight video on Instagram with the caption, “Mäč … øüt.” An hour later, he edited that post to include “#notdeclared” which led some Husky fans to believe that he might be returning for a second year on Montlake, even though McDaniels admitted on his Instagram story a few months that if he didn’t go to Washington he would’ve gone pro overseas for a year.
A little after midnight on Wednesday, McDaniels took to Twitter to announce that he’s going to “Roll The Dice” and enter the 2020 NBA Draft.
During his only year with the Huskies, he averaged 13 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, along with 2.1 assists and 1.4 blocks per night. The talented freshman was relegated to the bench during conference play after an ankle injury, a slew of technical foul trouble, and had a roller coaster of a year in purple and gold.
The local prospect out of Federal Way High School was honored with the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award during the final week of the regular season after two outstanding performances on the road against Arizona and Arizona State.
The NBA drafts on potential, and McDaniels has one of the highest ceilings in this draft class. His long, lanky frame puts him in a similar mold of players like Kevin Durant and Jonathan Isaac, who can be a matchup nightmare against both small and power forwards. He can take some undersized small forwards to the rim and use his length to finish inside, while also forcing power forwards to respect his perimeter game.
Currently sitting in 16th on ESPN’s big board, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see McDaniels go in the lottery. He shouldn’t be a player that a team will want to build around from day one, as he has a lot of room for improvement on the offensive end. However interviews will be conducted, he’ll have a great chance to rise, or fall, on some team’s draft boards, depending on how he answers for himself surround questions around his discipline.
One thing that shouldn’t be in question is McDaniels’ talent. He’s got the potential to become an All-NBA caliber player on both ends of the court, and a lot of his NBA career will come down to his usage, and if he can get out of his own way mentally, because when he attacks, he’s unstoppable.