One of the first pieces the Los Angeles Lakers landed to build around LeBron James and Anthony Davis is veteran sharpshooter Troy Daniels.
The 27-year-old guard is a knockdown shooting ace off the bench. Last season, this was a role many expected Josh Hart to fill on the Lakers alongside James. But now that the former Villanova guard has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the haul for Davis, it is entirely possible that Daniels steps into that same projected role.
When he is on the court with James and Davis, expect Daniels to be wide open as defenders account for the superstars. The former Phoenix Suns guard was 45-for-94 (47.9 percent) on three-pointers when the nearest defender was at least six feet away last season. That ranked Top 10 among all players who had at least as many attempts.
Most of the time, these shots will come from the corner. His three-point percentage from that spot has ranked in the 85th percentile or better in each of the last four seasons, per Cleaning the Glass.
Approximately half of the field goal attempts that Daniels had last year were catch-and-shoot three-pointers, per NBA.com. Since his professional career started in 2013-14, that frequency rate is astronomically high at 56.2 percent.
According to Synergy Sports Tech, teams that had James on the roster have ranked Top 10 in unguarded catch-and-shoot field goals during five of the last seven seasons. Now with Anthony Davis on the floor as well, expect that to trend to continue for the Lakers in 2019-20.
Daniels averaged 1.36 points per possession (84th percentile) on unguarded catch-and-shoot opportunities last season, per Synergy Sports. It has long been the primary source of his offense and where he’s been most impressive.
During his campaign in 2015-16, Daniels was an absolutely ridiculous 20-for-27 (74.1 percent) on unguarded catch-and-shoot looks. His three-point percentage (59.6 percent) on wide open looks was the best in the NBA that season.
As noted by Kellan Olson, the new Lakers signee increased his dribbles per touch and time of possession last year. Regardless of this is how he is used more often moving forward, his ace touch from beyond the arc will be very valuable for Los Angeles.