Weighing McDaniels' future in Philly

K.J. McDaniels may not have been a first-round pick like he'd hoped to be, but it wasn't too long into the second-round before his name was called.

And given who the 76ers took during Thursday night's draft, McDaniels is well on his way to a roster spot and a place in the rotation, if not the starting five.

Kansas center Joel Embiid, the third-overall pick, could sit out the entire 2014-15 season, kind of like Nerlens Noel did last year for the Sixers. Louisiana-Lafayette guad Elfrid Payton was picked at 10 overall before being traded to the Magic for Dario Saric, who's under contract in Turkey for the next two years.

McDaniels heard his name called two picks into the second-round. Four others were selected by Philadelphia in the second. The 76ers drafted Syracuse forward Jerami Grant and Louisville guard Russ Smith, who was then traded to New Orleans for point guard Pierre Jackson. Serbian guard Vasilije Mijic and Tennessee shooting guard Jordan McRae were their final two picks.

Philadelphia was one of the worst teams in the NBA last season, finishing with a 19-63 record. The 76ers also endured a 26-game losing streak.

Thaddeus Young led the team with 17.9 points per game, Spencer Hawes, who was sent to Cleveland at the end of the season, averaged a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game. Michael-Carter Williams was first with 6.3 assists per contest.

Also on the roster are shooting guard Jason Richardson, combo guard Tony Wroten, power forward Jarvis Varnardo, combo forward Hollis Thompson, small forward Adonis Thomas and shooting guard Tony Anderson.

McDaniels figures to compete for minutes with Thompson and Thomas, both of whom were rookies last season. Thompson was undrafted out of Georgetown and Thomas was undrafted out of Memphis. Thompson averaged just over 22 minutes per game while Thomas played about six. According to Yahoo, they're first and second, respectively, on the 76ers' depth chart at small forward.

Clearly, the 76ers are building for the future, but McDaniels will get every opportunity to win a starting spot right now and make a case to be included in the foundation.

While McDaniels' ball-handling and shooting both need improvement, he'll entre the league with the ability to defend multiple positions and block shots from just about anywhere on the floor.

And, if everything works out like the brass in Philly hopes for, the City of Brotherly Love could become Block City with McDaniels, Noel and Embiid. That's a serious collection of rim protectors.

CUTigers.com Top Stories