Troy Daniels is “the other guy” in the Charlotte Hornets’ recent trade.
By now you know all about Mo Williams, the veteran point guard who became an immediate starter averaging 23 points per game.
Daniels was the throw-in to the exchange of Williams for Hornets shooting guard Gary Neal. The Minnesota Timberwolves needed to open a roster spot to acquire Adreian Payne from the Atlanta Hawks; hence the 2-for-1 trade.
Daniels is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who played college ball at Virginia Commonwealth. The Hornets had him on their summer-league team and brought him to training camp before releasing him two falls ago. Since then he has played with the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves.
A closer look at the new Hornet:
What he brings
He’s a jump-shooter who made a high percentage of 3s with the Rockets as a rookie (48 percent), but not as much his second season in Houston and Minnesota (32 percent).
Daniels said he’s expanding his skill set in other areas.
“Defensive energy, leadership when needed and shooting the open 3,” Daniels said of his strengths. “Al (Jefferson) is a great player who draws double teams. I have the shooting range where teams can’t leave me.”
What surprised coach Clifford
Coach Steve Clifford said, based on practices in Charlotte last week, that Daniels is notably better in pick-and-rolls than he was as a rookie.
“That’s something I’ve worked on since coming to Houston,” Daniels said. “I knew when I left Charlotte (training camp) I had a lot of things to work on. I sat down with coach Clifford before they released me to talk about exactly what I needed to work on.”
His chance for minutes
“Right now there are not a lot of minutes at those wing positions,” Clifford said. “But he demonstrated in Houston and Minnesota that you can just throw him in there to see if he can get going for five minutes. He can score quickly.”
What he’s learned about NBA
“You definitely have to have patience,” Daniels said. “You watch a lot of film and watch the veterans on your team – they’re the ones who know what’s going on. The more you watch the more comfortable you’ll be when you get out there.”
“Also, I have to do something more than just shoot the ball. I have to be able to create for others.”
Living the dream
“It’s been a roller-coaster ride, but it’s been fun,” Daniels said of three teams in his first two NBA seasons. “I used to dream of even being considered to play in the NBA. It’s a great opportunity for me to do what I do.”
What he could be
“His chance to be a rotation player is similar to what Gary (Neal) grew into as he got older,” Clifford said.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell