If you’ve only heard Troy Daniels’ name once in your life, it was probably in 2014, when he hit a playoff-game-winning three for Houston on a floor that included James Harden, Dwight Howard, and hell, even Jeremy Lin:
Daniels came to Memphis in the summer, an amuse-bouche to the hardy, free agency entrée that was Chandler Parsons. Parsons’ signing got all the attention this summer, as he likely will throughout the season, but Daniels was a shrewd pickup by the front office for just $10 million over three years.
Daniels played 43 games last season for the Hornets, averaging 5.6 points in just over 10 minutes per game. Never quite good enough to earn the starting spot (especially after Courtney Lee showed up), he was still a reliable 48% from three with a 14.9 PER. The knocks on Daniels are his lack of versatility, slight frame, and mediocre defense - but still, Charlotte fans were sorry to see him go in free agency.
Best Case Scenario
Now entering his fourth year, Daniels has the chance to be a Wayne Ellington-style spark plug on the Grizzlies’ bench. While former Rocket teammate Chandler Parsons will get the limelight, Daniels has a good chance to live up to his sneaky-good reputation in a smaller, spot shooting role. If he and Parsons both stay healthy, the Grizz should never go more than a few minutes per game without a three-point threat on the floor. And with our bigs still in good form, all it takes is a threat to open this offense up.
Worst Case Scenario
You know that thing that happens where great shooters come to Memphis and are great for 10 games, then fall into a bottomless pit of ice and bricks? Yeah, that could happen. Daniels is young, streaky, and has never gotten consistent minutes. He shoots with the right kind of arrogance — i.e. he never seems to play scared — but if there are more reliable, more versatile guards on the bench (3s who also D), he could find himself passed over.
Let’s be cautiously optimistic: If Daniels hits 40% of his threes (lower than his career average), he’d still be one of the best shooters on last year’s team. If he gets 10-15 minutes a game at that clip, it would make a huge difference in the Grizzlies’ ability to maintain leads and chase down deficits with the starters on the bench.
Actually - forget caution. I want nothing but this: