Brooklyn Nets: Analyzing The K.J. McDaniels Trade

The Brooklyn Nets pick up another small forward prospect at the trade deadline by helping a playoff contender clear out cap space.

The Brooklyn Nets made a trade for the second consecutive day. It didn’t cost them much this time.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets send swingman K.J. McDaniels to Brooklyn. Bobby Marks, also of The Vertical, says the Nets will send back a second round draft pick.

This comes on the heels of Brooklyn dealing second-leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic and prospect Chris McCullough to the Washington Wizards.

In return, they received Marcus Thornton, Andrew Nicholson, and a 2017 first round pick. Thornton has since been waived.

The Rockets are looking to enter the buyout market. They’ve begun doing so by sending away McDaniels’s $3.3 million and Tyler Ennis’s $1.7 million contracts.

Because you have to send something in return to make a valid trade, the Nets will give Houston a draft pick. However, the protected range is very wide. The 9-47 Nets will most likely fall on the higher end of that.

McDaniels is a low risk-high reward get. According to Bobby Marks, the acquisition gets them within around $800 thousand of the salary floor. Also, if the Nets like him, they can pick up the $3.4 million team option on the last year of his contract.

He showed flashes early in the season that he would fit in with the Rockets’ new gameplan. This happened when Patrick Beverley missed the first 11 games of the season due to injury and James Harden moved to starting point guard.

This freed up time at shooting guard for McDaniels to show his stuff. He scored 11 points in Houston’s season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He also scored 13 points in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

However, Beverley’s return bumped McDaniels back out of the rotation. He’s only played 19 games since then. He hasn’t played more than 7.5 minutes nor scored more than 7 points in a game over that span.

In total, K.J. McDaniels has played 29 games in 2016-17. He has averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebound in 7.3 minutes per game.

McDaniels started his NBA career with a rebuilding team. He played 52 games in 2014-15 with the Philadelphia 76ers before being dealt to Houston midseason. The best game of his career, a 21-point, 13-rebound outburst in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, happened as a Sixer.

His time in Brooklyn can serve as another proving ground for his abilities after pine-riding for three seasons in Houston.

He’s a super-athletic player that has been improving his shooting touch over time. His 45.6 percent field goal shooting, 53.7 percent two-point shooting, and 33.3 percent three-point shooting this season are the highest marks of his young career.

Chances are McDaniels will help fill in the small forward void left by Bogdanovic’s departure. He will most likely come off of the bench in the beginning, with Caris LeVert being tabbed to start.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will also get small forward minutes. However, head coach Kenny Atkinson told the New York Post’s Brian Lewis yesterday that he prefers playing him as a power forward.

One of the smaller deals of the trade deadline helps the Brooklyn Nets bring in a high-upside wing at little cost. K.J. McDaniels could follow the path of new teammate Sean Kilpatrick, becoming a useful player when given the playing time.

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