As soon as the NBA Draft ends, there’s a feeding frenzy as teams rush to sign players to deals for Summer League and beyond. One of the first players Washington was able to sign to a deal was Danuel House, the 87th ranked player in the 2016 draft class according to Draft Express. He signed with the Wizards even though it was clear he wouldn’t start because Kelly Oubre was already slotted as the team’s starting forward for Summer League action.
Despite coming off the bench, he had the most surprising, head-turning performance of any Wizard in Las Vegas this summer. He averaged 11.2 points in just 18.2 minutes per game off the bench and helped spur some key second half runs to help Washington to a 3-2 record. He parlayed his success into a partially-guaranteed deal with Washington, where $100,000 worth of his rookie minimum contract is guaranteed, according to Basketball Insiders.
Though House hasn’t locked up a spot on Washington’s 15-man roster yet, it certainly seems as though he has the inside track to one of Washington’s open roster spots. The guaranteed portion of House’s salary is significantly larger than Sheldan McClellan or Daniel Ochefu’s (who are both receiving $50,000 for training camp, according to Basketball Insiders). Plus, the Wizards only have two small forwards on the roster at the moment, so he would fill a position where the team needs more depth.
To get a better idea of what Danuel House could bring to the table, we talked to David Dold of SB Nation’s Texas A&M site, Good Bull Hunting about how he performed during his two years with the Aggies.
House had an interesting situation, transferring from Houston after his sophomore year, and missing the start of the season while his hardship waiver was approved. Where did he improve the most during his time with the Aggies and where could have grown more had he gotten a chance to play all four years there?
During his early time on campus, an off-shooting night would affect the rest of his game, but that changed during his senior season. His off-nights on offense, while rare, were consistently supplemented by the type of all-around game that you expect from a Senior. (Perfect example against LSU: 2/9 shooting; 10 rebounds; 6 assists)
It seems like an odd response for a guy whose best attribute was scoring, but that was his biggest area of improvement.
I don't think the circuitous path to A&M affected him much, as it's becoming more and more common for these guys.
House's three-point percentage dropped from 40.0 percent as a junior to 30.7 percent as a senior. Why was there such a discrepancy and which season is more indicative of his actual shooting ability?
I tend to think his senior season, where he repeatedly got to the rim and made his living at the stripe, is a better reflection of his scoring style. I'm not saying he can't shoot (clearly he could in Vegas), but he doesn't strike me as the type of "shooting specialist" that can earn a living solely by spotting up from 25 feet.
House was capable of dropping ten points during any 2-3 minute stretch of play, but he sometimes had to shoot his way through some pain to get there (see our miracle win over Northern Iowa, where he didn't score for the first 39 minutes). We loved how he was capable of owning the biggest stretch of the game even on his off nights, but he won't have that much leeway on an NBA roster. The instant offense has to be there without volume, as that will ultimately be his meal ticket.
How would you rate House's defensive ability? Is he solid on that end, or a guy who gets by mostly on his athleticism?
I can't really commit to more than 'solid,' here. He's not a minus defender, but I'm not sure if he can take the tough assignments night after night. He likely won't be asked to do that if he makes the roster, as he'd be getting the second quarter minutes that typically align with the other team's second unit, but I think that might serve as the difference between a life as an NBA fringe player and a true rotation guy.