PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 76ers will return to action in the Orlando Pro Summer League on Tuesday night as they take on the Houston Rockets.
There’s a lot of young talent to keep an eye on down in Orlando. One player who could fill a role right away for the 76ers is forward K.J. McDaniels out of Clemson.
“It’s been going great,” McDaniels tells KYW Newsradio. “I’m enjoying the experience and it’s just a blessing to be out here with the Sixers and go out there and play.”
The 76ers selected McDaniels, who was projected by many to go late in the first-round, with their first second round pick (#32 overall).
“I felt like the Sixers were interested in me,” McDaniels says. “When they picked me, I was extremely happy. They showed interest in me when I worked out there and I had a good feeling about going to the Sixers.”
McDaniels averaged 17.1 points a game as a junior last season at Clemson, but it is his prowess defensively that has created a lot of buzz. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in the ACC this past season, and at 6’6″ he led the ACC with 100 blocked shots.
“I feel like I’m still learning defensively, even though that’s probably my strongest point,” McDaniels says. “I feel like I’m still learning, improving. But just being out there challenging shots, putting a little pressure on the offense, I feel like I’m doing a better job of that.”
He also is hopeful he can make an impact in Philadelphia.
“I definitely look at it as a great opportunity,” McDaniels says. “Because I know they are in a rebuilding stage. I’m young and the team is young and we can definitely learn from each other and pick up certain things from each other. I feel like we can improve in every way and it’s definitely a great opportunity for me coming in.”
McDaniels is averaging 11 points a game so far down in Orlando.
Matt Leon spoke with the Sixers second round selection.