When the Los Angeles Lakers signed small forward Troy Daniels as a free agent last month, it didn’t garner a great deal of headlines. Despite being under the radar, Daniels now says that choosing to play for the Lakers wasn’t really a tough choice.
Daniels spoke with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype on a number of topics, and offered insight into the negotiations which led him to the Lakers:
“It was a hectic time, for sure. Kawhi Leonard was kind of holding up free agency because a lot of teams wanted to hold onto their salary-cap room to give it all to him because they thought they had a real shot at getting him. It kind of sucked for me. Around that time, I knew my market wasn’t that big, but I figured I could probably make $3 million or $4 million for the upcoming season. The Lakers, Thunder, Warriors and a couple other teams were interested – a lot of teams obviously need elite shooters. I knew those teams were interested.
“The Lakers were the first to come with an offer. It was a vet minimum deal, but it was almost a no-brainer. They’re trying to build a championship team for this season and opportunities like that don’t come along very often. I felt like it was the best decision for my career. You can make a big name for yourself by playing well on the big stages, as I did in my rookie year [with the Houston Rockets]. If I get another opportunity like that, I just have to take advantage of it. Coming in, I don’t really know the plan [as far as playing time]. Everybody feels like they know who’s going to play and who isn’t going to play, but at the end of the day, you have to go out there and earn it. I’ve built my career on that. It doesn’t really matter how much or when I’m going to play; whatever opportunity I get, I’m going to be ready.”
The 6-foot-4 Daniels was amongst a number of shooters that the Lakers acquired during this offseason. He brings some deadly accuracy from beyond the arc, with a career shooting percentage of 40.0 percent in that category.
During his six previous seasons in the NBA, Daniels has played for five different teams. He spent the last two years with the Phoenix Suns and averaged 6.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game last season.
Despite having averaged only 15 minutes of action per game over the course of his career, he’s knocked down 509 3-pointers in his six NBA campaigns. Last year, he was the only NBA player who saw less than 770 minutes of action to collect 70 3-pointers.
That sort of weapon can be an asset as the Lakers not only fight to reach the postseason, but also challenge for an NBA title.
Daniels is already excited about that prospect, which could make things interesting once the regular season gets underway.