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Kj Balls

In: Business and Management

Submitted By october1
Words 424
Pages 2
HOUSTON -- The waiting is one of the hardest parts for K.J. McDaniels.

He has the athletic ability and smarts to play in the NBA, it's just that he has to wait.

Last season, McDaniels was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Houston Rockets for Isaiah Canaan and a future second-round pick. McDaniels didn't play because, well, let's be honest, James Harden, Corey Brewer, Jason Terry and Trevor Ariza were ahead of him.

Veteran players -- two with rings, one a superstar and an elite bench performer -- were going to get time over McDaniels.

"It's helped me out a lot just watching and seeing how the intensity is and how it picks up throughout the regular season to the playoffs," McDaniels said. "I have to be ready with the same intensity."

McDaniels, 22, played in 62 games for the 76ers and, after the trade to the Rockets, logged 33 minutes over 10 games. He suffered an elbow injury toward the end of the season, limiting his practice and playing time.

In the offseason, 10 teams were interested in his services, but as a restricted free agent, the Rockets had the right to match any offer. McDaniels didn't receive any offers worth making the Rockets worry, and he signed a three-year, $10 million deal.

And now that McDaniels has some financial security, he continues to wait.

"Still learning a lot of stuff, he comes with a phenomenal physical set of tools," coach Kevin McHale said of McDaniels. "A really good kid, works really hard. A lot of positives."

McDaniels has shown the Rockets his athletic gifts with his leaping ability -- he has a team-leading six blocks and dunked over Golden State's Andrew Bogut -- and he fits into the offensive system.

In six games, McDaniels is averaging 10 points but is shooting 31.3 percent from the floor and has made just 4 of 18 3-point attempts.

"He's got to get comfortable. It's all about comfort, especially for a young guy," Harden said of McDaniels. "The more you play, the more opportunities you get, the better off you be. He just has to get comfortable and settle down a little bit and do what he does: block shots, knock down shots and just be the athlete he is."

But he has to wait.

McHale isn't going to push his vets out of the way for McDaniels, who will be fighting for playing time even more this season than last.

When he first arrived, the Rockets gave him garbage-time minutes, and it…...

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