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K.J. McDaniels was the steal of the 2014 NBA Draft

K.J. McDaniels waited over two hours to hear his name called from the stage at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on June 26.

Along with the former Clemson Tiger, who had declared for the 2014 NBA Draft after three stellar seasons in orange, was close to forty friends and family members who had made the trip from their home of Mobile, Ala. to Brooklyn to see McDaniels called up on that stage.

McDaniels, who was projected as a late first-round pick in some mock drafts, hoped to hear his name called by Commissioner Adam Silver, who announces the first round picks. However, as the later picks of the first round came and went, McDaniels and his dozens of supporters were left in anticipation.

Finally, at the 32nd selection spot, McDaniels heard his name called by Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, and just like that, he had a new home in Philadelphia.

Too humble to complain that he should have been selected higher, McDaniels aims to let his play speak for him. McDaniels remains extremely appreciative of the opportunity in front of him, regardless of who called his name in Brooklyn.

"It was a special time," he said of his draft experience.

"It's been special for all of us," he said of his extended support group. They know I'm here to represent for them, and to have them [at the draft] was big for me."

Humble yes, but still confident. Prior to suiting up for the Sixers, McDaniels turned down the common contract offered to rookies in his position for one with less guaranteed money and years, but with the ability to renegotiate after a single season.

In short, McDaniels bet on himself, and he has wasted little time in showing the Sixers, and the league at large, that he could be a very valuable investment. In one of the most highly-hyped drafts in recent memory, McDaniels is quickly proving to be one of the best in his class.

Among all rookies, McDaniels is third in scoring, averaging 9.3 points per game, and is second to teammate Nerlens Noel in blocks per game. After only seven games, the Mobile product has established himself as one of the best perimeter blockers in the game, as his ability to get a chase-down block from behind rivals that of anyone. While higher picks from June's draft, like Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum are acclimating to the NBA game, McDaniels has demonstrated an ability to come in and contribute right away. That immediate impact will help him at the negotiating table this summer.

In addition to his affinity for blocks, K.J. has also shown other flashes of dominance defensively, namely on the perimeter where his length, speed and athleticism allow him to cover a lot of ground, and pressure and defend multiple positions. McDaniels can guard every position around the perimeter, from point guard to small forward, and he has even been matched up with opposing power forwards at times this season.

Like an Andre Iguodala before him, K.J. McDaniels can do a little bit of it all out on the court, and his elite athleticism allows for some spectacular plays on both ends of the ball. Unlike Iguodala however, McDaniels is already a more polished player on the offensive end. With continued development, the second-round selection has the chops to be a star on both ends of the ball.

McDaniels has yet to secure a starting spot with the Sixers, but it is only a matter of time. In the meantime, he is embracing the opportunity in front of him.

"I'm just trying to come out and compete hard every day," McDaniels said when asked of his role. "I'm just trying to learn as much as possible and keep my motor going."

If McDaniels keeps his motor going at the rate he has been so far this season, he is going to make a whole lot of teams regret passing him over on draft day.