Just in case you thought he was on vacation too, Woj of ESPN (still feels weird to type that) comes to us today with a report from league sources announcing that the Raptors will sign guard K.J. McDaniels to a partially guaranteed one-year deal.
Free agent guard KJ McDaniels has agreed to a partially guaranteed one-year deal with Toronto, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 17, 2017
McDaniels joins Alfonzo McKinnie, Kennedy Meeks, and the recently signed Kyle Wiltjer in the pool of players vying for a spot on the Raptors’ roster. The Raptors have 13 guys signed who contributed last season (sure, OK, including Bruno), plus the four aforementioned names and their two two-way contracts (Lorenzo Brown and Malcolm Miller). According to Woj’s righthand man Bobby Marks, the numbers look good for the Raptors.
Because they have Exhibit 10 bonus language that does not hit the Raptors cap.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 17, 2017
Now to the player himself. Unlike the rest of those names I mentioned, McDaniels, at 24 years old, actually has an NBA body of work from which to draw. Drafted in 2014 in the second round by Philadelphia, McDaniels is entering his fourth season in the NBA after spending time with the Sixers (where his mom did not trust the process), the Rockets, and last season’s disaster Nets. He also spent some time in the G-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers during the 2015-16 season.
At 6’6” and 205 lbs, with a suitably long wingspan, McDaniels could slot into the wing behind starter DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell and C.J. Miles. For his career, McDaniels’ has put up averages of 5.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.5 assists, while shooting 46 percent from the field, 28 percent from 3 (on 2.0 attempts per game), and 78 percent from the line, in 14.7 minutes per game. As various highlight packages suggest (particularly the one below from his rookie season), there’s something to McDaniels’ value as a player when considering his wild athleticism.
As his career has progressed however, McDaniels’ numbers have been in something of a decline. That’s worth noting considering he played on one of the worst teams in the league last year. If the Nets are willing to let you walk as a free agent, it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. Still, for a Raptors team trying to find low cost players with which to fill the backend of their roster, they could do a lot worse than giving McDaniels a chance.
Let’s see how things shake out when McDaniels joins the team for training camp. Is he the guy to grab that 14th or 15th spot on the Raptors, or will one of the other signees jump to the front of the line?