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BSOTS 2018-19 Player Previews: Troy Daniels

Will Daniels’ sharpshooting still earn him minutes this season?

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Here on Bright Side Of The Sun, we are going to take you all the way through Phoenix’s 16 roster spots previewing what to expect from each one of them during the 2018-19 season.

Shortly before training camp began last year, Troy Daniels was basically gifted to the Suns by the Memphis Grizzlies who needed needed to cut the number of guaranteed contracts on their payroll down to the NBA maximum of 15. The Griz also threw in a 2nd round pick (used in the trade for Elfrid Payton) and all the Suns sent back in return was a highly protected 2nd rounder that didn’t convey and was eventually used to select Elie Okobo.

Usually you would consider a player that another team was willing to give away as pretty much useless but Daniels proved quite useful on the court for the Suns - in a limited role.

Here are some of his accomplishments last season:

  • Daniels led the Suns in three point percentage and ranked 31st in the NBA by shooting 40.0 percent from three-point range.
  • He ranked 7th in the NBA with 137 three-point makes off the bench.
  • He made a three-pointer in 29 straight games when coming off the bench from Nov. 26-Jan. 31, the longest such streak in Suns history.
  • With 11 games making 5+ three-pointers this season, he joined Quentin Richardson (17 in 2004-05), Raja Bell (15 in 2006-07, 13 in 2005-06), Devin Booker (12 in 2017-18), Gerald Green (12 in 2013-14) and Dan Majerle (11 in 1993-94) as the only players in Suns history with at least 11 games of 5+ treys in a season.
  • With seven games making 6+ three-pointers this season, he joined Richardson (8 in 2004-05) and Bell (7 in 2006-07) as the only players in Suns history with at least seven games of 6+ treys in a season.

Troy Daniels can definitely shoot but, unfortunately, that’s all he really does well at an NBA level. He is a three point specialist and that’s it. In both per game and per 36 minutes stats, Troy was dead last in assists and rebounds for the Suns. Only two-way player Alec Peters had fewer steals and Daniels wound up in a five way tie for fewest blocks per game.

When he gets the ball, it’s usually going up... especially if he’s behind the three-point line. But no one cares much about that when you’re hitting 40% of those attempts and 79.7% of your shot attempts are from beyond the arc.

Daniels also does not create his own shots. Only 30.6% of his two point shots were unassisted and only 7.7% of his three-point makes were unassisted. His ball handling skills seem adequate for a shooting guard but he by far seems at his best on catch and shoot opportunities.

The Suns had the worst defense in the NBA and Troy had the worst Defensive Box Plus/Minus (-3.6) and Defensive Rating (117) of all players. Although his OBPM was positive (0.7), his lack of defensive prowess largely negated his offensive contributions.

On a team that was actively tanking much of the season, Daniels provided some offensive highlights and occasionally got the home crowd going with his three point shooting. He was a near perfect type of player for a team that wasn’t overly concerned with winning but wanted to keep the crowd interested even during a loss. His lack of contributions in other areas helped keep the tank rolling however, which ultimately resulted in the Suns getting the number one pick in the draft.

With the tank supposedly parked for this season and 3-and-D players such as Mikal Bridges and Davon Reed now available to absorb many of the minutes previously awarded to Daniels, he might find playing time scarce and may even be wearing another team’s jersey this season. Three point shooting is in demand in the Association but it will only get you so far if you don’t possess at least one other NBA level skill. Troy does not.

Daniels is on a relatively small and expiring contract ($3.26 mil) so it’s quite possible that he could be simply waived if the Suns decide to do so or it could possibly be used for salary matching purposes in an offseason trade. As the Suns presently have 17 players on the payroll (not including two-way contracts), they are going to have to cut that number down to 15 before the regular season begins and Troy could possibly be one of the two odd men out.

If Troy does manage to remain on the Suns’ roster this year, expect a much reduced role compared to the one he played last season.