Jalen McDaniels Sends Strong Message to Sixers Following Trade

Jalen McDaniels

Getty Jalen McDaniels formerly of the Charlotte Hornets

Jalen McDaniels could hold his excitement back when selling reporters how he felt about getting traded to the Philadelphia 76ers and why.

“Definitely exciting,” McDaniels said, per Justin Grasso of Sports Illustrated. “Just a team that’s been far in the past and planning on going there this year, and just them coming after me and wanting me to be here, it says a lot like I could bring to the team help get to that point.”

“This is a great atmosphere,” he said. “Everybody’s competitive, playing to win, honestly. That’s the biggest thing I noticed; everybody is playing to win. With that energy, it can only bring the best out of you. I found a good new home.”

McDaniels admitted that he was surprised that he was traded at the deadline.

“I really didn’t think I was gonna be traded or nothing like that. We were just talking, and he was like, ‘You’re going to Philly.’ I’m like, ‘Right now?’ I’m on the phone, and a few of my teammates look at me, and I guess they were on Twitter or whatever. I’m like, I’m really not a Charlotte Hornet anymore. I’m going to Philly,” McDaniels said.

McDaniels was available for the Sixers’ game against the New York Knicks on February 10 but did not play.

Daryl Morey Calls McDaniels a ‘Hidden Gem’

Sixers’ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey believes McDaniels could be a hidden gem now that he’s been given an opportunity on the Sixers.

“We really think Jalen’s sort of a hidden gem,” Morey told reporters, per Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Sometimes when teams struggle that much, there are players who really just need an opportunity to show what they can do on a better team. We feel like Jalen’s a player like that. Obviously, we’ll see how he plays down the stretch going into the playoffs.”

Morey then explained what he believes McDaniels brings on both ends of the floor.

“I think he’s what every team is looking for —especially with the offensive firepower we have — as a long, athletic defender,” Morey said. “We felt like we needed defense. He’s gritty, can run the floor in transition.

“And then offensively — I know Doc was just talking to him — the game will be a lot easier for him. A lot of his shots were very difficult playing with (Charlotte). And with Joel (Embiid) and James (Harden) both bringing attention and great passing, the offensive side will be a lot easier for him.”

Sixers Receive High Grade For McDaniels Trade

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report gave the Sixers an A+ for trading McDaniels for Thybulle, first praising them for managing to get under the tax.

“The Sixers will deal. They comfortably skirt the tax as part of this trade, affording them necessary wiggle room in advance of #buyoutseason. And turning one second-rounder into two is useful divesting for a team barren of movable selections,” Favale said.

He added that what McDaniels brings makes him an upgrade over Thybulle in the postseason.

“Philadelphia doesn’t need someone to generate from-scratch scoring, but McDaniels can grab-and-go on the break and should be able to advance his pump-and-drive game inside the Sixers’ offense.

“Couple his size and multi-level help defense with this brand of ‘any offensive upside whatsoever,’ and you have someone infinitely more playable for this team in the postseason than Thybulle.”

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