Height/Weight: 6’9, 200 lbs.
The greatest strength for Jaden McDaniels is his length. He can shoot over almost any player because of that fact. With his shooting comes a nice touch and a solid release. He holds that release for a long period whether it is a shot from deep or just a floater inside of the lane.
The floater is something that is not all the way perfect at this point, but Jaden does have some distance to it that makes it quite attractive. For any shots inside the lane (which are rare) he usually utilizes his floater.
There’s a reason why Jaden doesn’t drive into the lane too much and that is because he is first and foremost a shooter. All he needs to do is get into a rhythm and he’s usually hitting most of his shots. How often he gets into a rhythm is a discussion for later. But, when he isn’t thinking about his shot and he relies on his mechanics, he is cash. That can be in transition, off the catch, or off the 1 dribble pull-up.
McDaniels is also a solid passer in the offense. I don’t believe he looks for others too often when he’s driving, but he will always make the swing pass to the opposite wing if the defense collapses. They are quick and direct passes from what I’ve seen that will find his man right on the mark.
Jaden will always keep match-ups in mind. Often you’ll see him pointing to players in the post (Mostly talking about Isaiah Stewart here) when there is a mismatch.
Jaden McDaniels is not a bad defender either. Washington likes to run a ton of zone (as you can probably remember from Matisse Thybulle’s scouting report from last year). Because of his long arms, which we will continue to mention at exhaustion, he is able to cut off passing lanes very well. That length also helps him recover on some shots to get some impressive blocks. Washington plays him up top in the zone indicating that he is much more comfortable on the perimeter defensively than he is in the post.
Jaden McDaniels needs to become more consistent. NBA teams love all of the tools that he brings to the game, but that shot has to just knock down at a better rate. If he isn’t hitting his shots, he doesn’t bring too much offensively since he isn’t too comfortable with attacking and finishing at the rim.
While defensively he has shown some promise, he doesn’t really have quick twitch movements. Now, that isn’t necessarily expected for someone of his height, but given his lack of strength it could be a major problem for him when playing man to man at the next level.
The creation ability is another concern. Jaden has no problem getting his shot off in college, but how easy will it be in the NBA with longer and more talented defenders? He has to make sure he doesn’t carry over any existing tunnel vision otherwise he’ll be forcing up some pretty tough shots at the next level.
Jaden has to bulk up, it’s just a must. 200 pounds just won’t be feasible in the NBA. We’ve seen players like Jonathan Isaac put on a ton of muscle to be able to deal with the size of the NBA. McDaniels will have to learn from his predecessors and do the same.
Jaden McDaniels is one of the most fascinating prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft. Unless he decides to stay multiple years as his brother did, Jaden will be a first round pick barring any injuries.
Teams are fascinated with his shot and length as mentioned and that will surely give him some discussion for a top 10 pick. Ultimately, I believe his value is in the 15-20 range in the 1st round at this stage unless he can improve his shooting numbers. If his percentages get up higher and he shows some consistency, I can see him being a top 10 pick since he has the talent to be up there without question.