We mentioned it briefly Thursday but DeAndre Daniels, the Raptors' second-round pick in last month's NBA Draft, almost certainly won't be on the bench for the big club this season. Instead, as often happens with young players who need more experience, he'll be shipped to a lower league to get playing time all while gaining confidence and getting physically stronger.
According to the Toronto Sun, Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri "has indicated Daniels will be stashed in Europe for a year to get some much-needed playing time."
If you're new to "stashing" -- and we were until recently -- here's a quick primer, courtesy of SheridanHoops.com:
Since second-round picks usually are not guaranteed to make NBA rosters, teams can use Europe (or Australia, Asia and South America) as a viable option to develop their draft picks on someone else’s dime while still retaining the rights to the player down the road.
Typically, European players took this route to continue their development on their home continent, delaying their arrival stateside until they expanded their skills or had a more relaxed escape clause in their contract.
However, the D-League ‘s spartan rookie pay scale has made playing overseas a viable option even for American rookies, who despite being drafted may not want to risk getting cut in training camp and being forced to play for pennies in the minors.
There has never been any question about Daniels' athleticism or potential, but he struggled with consistency for much of his college career. That said, Daniels got hot late in the season and was a vital cog in the Huskies' championship run. A good showing in Europe this season could mean a place on the Raptors roster in 2015 -- or sooner.