A second-round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014, McDaniels struggled to contribute in a meaningful way for the Sixers and Houston Rockets over his first two-and-a-half years. After the Rockets traded him to the Brooklyn Nets in February, McDaniels played the best basketball of his pro career.
He averaged 15.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per 36 minutes, all of which were personal bests, but that wasn't enough to guarantee McDaniels' long-term future in Brooklyn. The Nets declined his team option for the 2017-18 season.
When he left the Clemson Tigers for the NBA after his junior year, McDaniels' lack of range on the offensive end of the floor was one of the biggest concerns about his game. He shot 30.4 percent from beyond the arc in his final college season.
Those concerns were well-founded, as McDaniels is a 29 percent career shooter from the perimeter. He has also shot 23.1 percent between 10 and 16 feet and 31.9 percent from 16 feet to the three-point line, per Basketball-Reference.com.
If McDaniels struggled to evolve as a scorer, then the hope was that he'd become a defensive specialist and strong rebounder.
The former hasn't been the case—at least to the extent it has outweighed his offensive issues.
According to NBA.com, only once over his three full seasons did his defensive rating fall below 100. After his arrival, the Nets were two points better defensively per 100 possessions with McDaniels on the bench, per NBA.com.
To some extent, McDaniels has been the victim of circumstance. He started off with a 76ers team that finished 18-64 in the second season of its long-term process. From there, he moved to Houston, where his lack of range would be a clear impediment. In Brooklyn, he was stuck on a team that's years away from playoff contention.
In a more stable situation where the offensive game plan suits his style, McDaniels could finally have a bit of a breakthrough with the Raptors and may become a valuable role player. Bringing him aboard is a worthwhile gamble for Toronto.