Washington freshman power forward Jaden McDaniels has declared for the 2020 NBA draft, announcing his decision on Twitter late on Tuesday night. Although McDaniels has the option of testing the waters without forgoing his eligibility, his statement suggests he plans to go pro.
McDaniels was the Huskies’ second-leading scorer in his first and only college season, averaging 13.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 1.4 BPG with a .405/.339/.763 shooting line in 31 games (31.1 MPG).
The 19-year-old currently ranks 16th overall on ESPN’s big board, including third among power forwards. In his scouting report, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz lauds the youngster’s ability to play above the rim, his versatile offensive attack, and the defensive upside generated by his agility and size.
McDaniels does need to add some weight to his frame and improve his decision-making, according to Schmitz, who notes that scouts see the 6’10” forward as “more of a long-term prospect” rather than someone who can make an immediate impact. While an up-and-down freshman season hurt McDaniels’ stock a little, it’s worth pointing out that he ranked atop one of Jonathan Givony’s first 2020 mock drafts back in January 2019.
McDaniels is the second Washington underclassman to declare for the draft this spring, joining fellow freshman Isaiah Stewart.