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After spending a lot of time in Greensboro, the rookie came on strong down the strech.
The Charlotte Hornets made Jalen McDaniels the 52nd pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. Players drafted that late rarely make an impact in the NBA, and it’s even more rare for them to do so in their rookie seasons.
That held true for McDaniels for the majority of his rookie season. From the start of the season until February 4th, he played a total of six minutes and 31 seconds. After the February 6th trade deadline, Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were bought out, opening up rotation minutes for the rookie. He capitalized.
McDaniels appeared in all of the Hornets final 14 games and averaged 6.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.2 blocks in just over 20 minutes per game. He shot 47.7% from the field and 39.1% from the field. He had a +6.3 on/off rating in meaningful minutes, which was one of the best marks on the team.
Beyond the stats, Jalen McDaniels is fun to watch. He’s extremely fluid for a player his size and just looks like a basketball player. He does little things well and plays unselfishly on both ends of the floor. He massively overachieved in his limited time in the NBA and showed a lot of promise for the future.