2019 NBA Draft Profile: San Diego State's Jalen McDaniels

2019 NBA Draft Profile: San Diego State's Jalen McDaniels

Mountain West Basketball

2019 NBA Draft Profile: San Diego State's Jalen McDaniels


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2019 NBA Draft Profile: San Diego State’s Jalen McDaniels

How will McDaniels 

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Find out what makes the former Aztec a great pro.

Basketball runs in the McDaniels family. His brother, Jaden McDaniels, elected to stay home last week and play at Washington this upcoming season. He is expected to be an NBA lottery pick in 2021.

Now all eyes are on his brother, Jalen McDaniels who just finished up his sophomore season playing power forward/small forward at San Diego State University, averaging 15.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in the 2018-2019 program under Brian Dutcher.

The 2019 NBA Draft is coming up Thursday, June 20, at the Barclays Center in New York, where many expect McDaniels to go early in the second round.


McDaniels’ biggest asset: length.

McDaniels measured 6-feet-8.25-inches barefoot, 6-foot-9.75-inches in shoes, 191.6 pounds, a wingspan just over seven feet, and an eight-foot-nine ½ inch standing reach at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine.

McDaniels makes his presence known on the court and has great ball handling skills for his size of 6-foot-9. He is a two-way player, who has potential to be explosive on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball with his size and athleticism playing a major factor.


McDaniels is excellent at finishing near the rim. McDaniels scores the bulk of his points inside the low post, using his handles to achieve the best shot possible.

He often draws contact in the post and shoots a 73.2% at the free throw line. He shoots a lot of floaters and hook shots, and plays a fluid game. McDaniels uses his rare handles for his size to his advantage, often making it look effortless while pushing towards the rim.


McDaniels draws defenders, often getting double teamed. McDaniels loves having his back faced to the basket, knowing where the defenders are putting pressure from, which makes him a good playmaker in addition to scorer. Very unselfish – loves to take defenders near post and dish out ball to the perimeter. Could shape into being a solid role player in the NBA.



McDaniels must put on more weight and muscle. Coming in at 191 pounds is a bit concerning, considering that only 11 players out of 69 players at the combine came in lighter – all who were guards 6’4 and shorter. He has put on some weight to his slight frame this sophomore season, which shows some upside, but he must continue to bulk.


Prone to picking up unnecessary fouls. He has gotten himself into foul trouble, and his teammates often stall when he has to sit on the bench in foul trouble. McDaniels needs to work in staying in front of the player to better defend.

Needs to take his energy and play much more disciplined and learn to control himself. A big weakness is his lack of defensive IQ, but if he gets a bit quicker off the ball, this should improve.

Three-Point Shooting

At San Diego State, McDaniels shot 32% from 3 point range. He can surely improve on this, and work to increase his stock to become more versatile at the NBA level.

While he has a nice arc and shot he is rather inconsistent and prefers to drive in and take a jumper while drawing defenders. If he works on his perimeter shooting, he can become even more of a threat.


Projected Draft Pick: 43rd to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Jalen McDaniels is a tremendously talented young player coming out of San Diego State. His athleticism continues to impress scouts, yet many have some concern about his frame.

If he continues to work to put on weight and continuing to cut some of his inconsistencies, I can see an early second to mid-round pick for McDaniels. McDaniels has a similar playstyle to the Magic’s Jonathan Isaac, which some have drawn comparisons to.



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