1 August 2022
By Julian Basena
MINNEAPOLIS — At Jamal Crawford’s recent CrawsOver pro-am event, the Wolves’ Jaden McDaniels was not the main attraction, but he played like he was always the headliner.
At Crawford’s annual pro-am, cherished by the professional basketball-deprived Seattle fanbase, McDaniels dished out a game-high 52 points coupled with 11 boards, punctuated by an array of isolation finishes and silky smooth ball handling.
A Seattle native, McDaniels played admirably in front of a home audience, while also intriguing fans at his new home of Minnesota. After an impressive debut playoff series, it’s obvious the Wolves’ brass anticipate a huge leap in development soon for McDaniels. And although the competition and the stage aren’t as rigorous, the performance could be a glimpse of what’s to come for the 21-year-old.
Minnesotan Chet Holmgren and first overall 2022 draft selection Paolo Banchero were also competing on the court opposite McDaniels in the packed Seattle Pacific University gym. They too exhilarated the crowd with highlight dunks and crafty buckets.
Holmgren totaled 34 points, 14 rebounds, and swatted eight shots out of the air. Where he lacked in athleticism compared to his NBA peers, he made up for impressive skill in the mid-range area, locating his spots and pivoting into Dirk Nowitski-like fadeaways.
Banchero, who played on the same team, played with aggressiveness that brought the crowd to its feet. The uber-athletic, rim-shaking dunks came in droves for the future Magic forward.
In attendance, retired hoopers, Crawford and Jalen Rose — as well as retired owner Steve Ballmer — looked on as the future of the NBA claimed their stake as the league’s newest appeal.
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Author: WCCO Staff