Jaden McDaniels stands as one of the most feared lockdown defenders in the NBA, and he won’t shy away in his capabilities amongst the best in the business
In an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, McDaniels noted himself as the best defender in the league given his ability to switch from different matchups and hold his own against multiple positions.
“I do believe [that I’m the best defender in the NBA],” McDaniels said. “My versatility, one night I might guard Giannis, the next day I gotta guard Trae Young or something, so just being able to guard one through four and just hold my own.”
McDaniels further pointed out his mindset of defending players by trying to contest their shots and make it difficult for them to score.
“I kinda go into it just making it difficult for them. I know they’re gonna make shots. Everyone’s good. They’re NBA players. So just trying to make it as tough as possible. For me, one thing defensively, I gotta always contest the shots. Just me coming in with that competitive mindset.”
As he do possesses a smothering length and wingspan, McDaniels has been able to pest his defensive assignments. He is averaging 2.0 steals a game to go with 0.9 blocks, and 115.1 defensive rating this season.
With Minnesota looking to advance to the postseason stage, they will look on the importance of McDaniels’ defensive presence in containing the best perimeter players of the Western Conference matchups that they’ll potentially face soon.