Jalen McDaniels – Philadelphia 76ers
Looking to strengthen their wing depth, the 76ers swung a trade for Jalen McDaniels at the trade deadline. The forward showed signs of potential during the regular season but was essentially out of the playoff rotation entirely. Now, he’s set for unrestricted free agency, and while keeping him in town will be far easier said than done, it’s something the Philadelphia 76ers must try to do.
In a league that is becoming so reliant on athletic wings, keeping McDaniels would make all the sense in the world for Philadelphia. Sure, he didn’t play much in the playoffs, but with Rivers no longer the team’s head coach, perhaps the forward could see a more significant role under Nurse. He’s got the tools to succeed, serving as a pesky 6-foot-9 defender who can score the ball and be a serviceable perimeter shooter. At 25 years old, he’s still got no shortage of room to grow.
The 76ers have full Bird rights on McDaniels, which should help if they are looking to re-sign him in the coming weeks. It’s unclear how much the forward may be seeking, but the 76ers could offer a nice payday on a contending team. Perhaps the forward takes a team-friendly deal this year with hopes of boosting his value and earning a more lucrative deal next off-season. Time will tell.