John Hollinger names Austin Daye in list of ‘up-and-coming players to watch’

ESPN’s John Hollinger listed 10 “players toiling in relative obscurity who could make a major impact next season,” and Austin Daye made the cut:

Daye’s recent uptick hasn’t been quite as extreme as that of some other players on this list, but the 22-year-old Detroit forward has nonetheless shown he’s turning the corner. With Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady likely moving on next season, the small forward job appears it will be Daye’s for the taking, and he seems ready to nab it.

He’s earned more minutes as the season has progressed and taken advantage, averaging double figures since the start of February. His frame has filled out a bit, so he’s not quite as freakishly skinny and he can make more stands defensively.

Offensively, meanwhile, his combo of length and shooting ability means he can be effective spotting up or playing over the top of smaller wings.

For a player with his statistical profile, Daye has a great chance of becoming an impact player next season. But again, let’s not get our hopes up too high.

Daye is on the verge. He possesses tremendous offensive skills and has shown increased defensive competency. Multiple players ahead of him on the depth chart could leave the team this summer.

But he’s still just on the verge. Next season, it’s time he get over the hump.

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