One certainty on Troy Daniels’ summer schedule was a return to Roanoke for the Dream Big Basketball Camp.
The event got under way Thursday at William Fleming High School, where Daniels began his path to basketball glory. But to describe any place as his hometown at the moment is open to question.
After two seasons with the Phoenix Suns, the fourth NBA team for which he has seen action, Daniels is looking forward to Sunday and the start of free agency.
“The phone should be ringing quite a bit,” said Daniels, a 6-foot-4 guard who has scored more than 2,000 points in his NBA career, including earlier stints with Minnesota, Charlotte and Memphis.
“I feel I’m in a great position. A lot of teams need shooting and that’s what I do at an elite level. It’s just a matter of where I’ll be playing.”
Daniels has long been known for his shooting range and accuracy, which earned him a scholarship to VCU, where his 251 career 3-pointers rank third in school history.
“I’m not ruling anybody out,” Daniels said. “I would love to go back to Phoenix. Would love to. They have the right young core.”
Only the New York Knicks had a worse record this past season than Phoenix, which finished 15th out of 15 teams in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Daniels was encouraged by the development this year of 22-year-old Devin Booker, who averaged 26.6 points, and 7-foot-1, 250-pound DeAndre Ayton, who won’t turn 21 until next month but averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds.
“Those guys are really good,” Daniels said. “They’re [the Suns] headed in the right direction as far as the franchise goes.
“There’s about 13 or 14 teams that are interested [in Daniels]. It’s just a matter of figuring out what they’ve got going on as far as the first, second and third guys they’re going after in free agency.
“I feel I played pretty good this season with the opportunity I was presented. With me, results come with opportunity. In the two seasons before that, I had career years.”
He averaged 8.2 points in 2016-17, which was his final year in Memphis, and a career-high 8.9 points in 2017-2018, his first in Phoenix.
It didn’t hurt that he started 15 games during that season. He had one start in 51 games last season.
“Overall, I feel I had a really good year,” he said. “I showed that I could put the ball on the floor and guard guys a little bigger than me.”
Igor Kokoskov was the fourth coach in the past four seasons for Phoenix, which has replaced him with Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams.
Charlotte was a nice spot for family reasons, “but as long as I’m playing in the United States of America, I’m totally fine,” Daniels said. “Everybody’s goal is the NBA and I’m fortunate enough to be going into Year 7.”
Changes in style of play have suited his game.
“It’s basically a 3-point-shooting league,” he said, “and the center, in terms of pro basketball, is pretty much out of there. A lot of teams have started to play small now.”
Daniels tries to make it home twice a year and this week’s camp makes it three times in 2019.
“The camp is blowing up pretty fast,” he said. “I think, the first year, we had 80. Now, we’re looking at about 160, which is absolutely great.”