CLEMSON - Hoping to be a first-round selection by declaring for the NBA draft before his senior season, K.J. McDaniels was disappointed, but his wait for a professional destination didn't last long.
McDaniels, who wore No. 32 at Clemson, was selected 32nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, taking the 2013-14 ACC Defensive Player of the Year in the second spot of the second round.
"He's not a good athlete; he's a freak athlete," ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said on Thursday night's telecast. "When he blocks shots, he doesn't block them just around the rim; he's like a perimeter shot-blocker, he blocks jump shots. And he's an excellent finisher in transition."
The 76ers, who recorded the NBA's second worst record this winter at 19-63, earlier selected Kansas center Joel Embiid third overall and acquired Croatian forward Darko Saric from the Magic, who took Saric at No. 12.
McDaniels had been projected as a late first-rounder by numerous publications, but will look to secure a deal worth just under a million dollars per year via the NBA's rookie wage scale. First-round picks get guaranteed contracts, but not second-rounders.
Clemson scored its first NBA draft selection since forward Trevor Booker was taken 23rd by the Washington Wizards in 2010.
Meanwhile, Charlotte owned a pair of first-round picks, picking up Indiana forward Noah Vonleh at No. 9 and former North Carolina guard PJ Hairston at No. 26.
Vonleh became the Hornets' second consecutive top-ten selection spent on a Hoosiers power forward, after taking Cody Zeller fourth last year.
Hairston was acquired as part of a draft-night deal with the Heat, which included sending former UConn guard and 2014 NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player Shabazz Napier to Miami. Hairston played two seasons for the Tar Heels from 2011-13, before being suspended amidst an NCAA investigation and leaving for one season in the NBA Developmental League.
Charlotte drafted Stanford forward Dwight Powell and Xavier guard Semaj Christon in the second round.
The draft began in predictable fashion, with the consensus top three prospects - Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins, Duke forward Jabari Parker and Embiid - going in order to the Cavaliers, Bucks and 76ers, respectively.
From the SEC, Kentucky sent forward Julius Randle to the Lakers (seventh) and forward James Young to the Celtics (17th).
From the ACC besides Parker, the Suns took N.C. State forward T.J. Warren at No. 14 and Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis at No. 18. Parker's Duke teammate, fellow forward Rodney Hood, went No. 23 to the Jazz.