In the modern NBA, multi-positional versatility is something all
teams covet. Evidenced by the current playoff finalists,
pace-and-space offenses finding mismatches on every possession is
the name of the game. For 19-year-old Australian combo guard Dyson
Daniels, his strengths mesh well within what will be valued most at
the next level.
Forgoing the college route as an International import, Daniels
instead went the more challenging route by immersing himself into
preparing for the 2022 NBA Draft. Daniels spent this past season
with the G League Ignite, which is now forming a consistent
pipeline of top prospects like Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.
Daniels averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.9
steals on a 54.0 True Shooting percentage in the G League last
The ability to adapt and play the role of a playmaking wing or
secondary ball handler makes the upside with Daniels even more
intriguing, especially if he lands in the right player development
system that focuses on his long-term outlook.
“I always want to be in the gym. I always want to be the best I
can,” Daniels told BasketballNews.com's Spencer Davies
last September. “I don’t want anyone to outwork me. I want to be
the hardest worker there is.”
Daniels bet on himself playing with the Ignite over national
NCAA exposure, which is paying huge dividends leading up to the
draft. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony recently reported that Daniels had
one of the most impressive pre-draft workouts he’d ever witnessed,
and thanks to those workouts, Dyson is seeing his stock soar in the
month before the draft.
The jumbo-sized do-it-all playmaker and defender is slotted in
at No. 8 overall to the New Orleans Pelicans in BasketballNews.com's latest mock
draft according to our Senior NBA Draft Analyst, Matt Babcock:
“At nearly 6-foot-7, Dyson Daniels is incredibly versatile, as
he can play several positions effectively on both ends of the
floor. After a stellar season with the G League Ignite, Daniels is
seemingly on the rise, as there have been rumblings recently that
his draft value is increasing. It’s looking like he’ll have a good
chance of being selected in the mid-lottery on draft night.”
Daniels is generating buzz to the point where it would be a
surprise if he fell past the top 10 picks without being selected.
As a likely lottery pick, Daniels’ versatility could help a needy
team immediately. With such a high basketball IQ, the ceiling for
Daniels all depends on if he can develop a reliable jump shot (25.5
3PT%). If Daniels rounds into form and becomes a reliable engine to
an elite offense, the possibilities truly are endless for the
“I have a good floater game, but I’m also a defender,” Daniels
described at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago earlier this month.
“I like to break it down on the offensive end. I’m a little bit
like a Tyrese Haliburton kind of guy that’s in control. On the
defensive end, I like to look at guys like Lonzo Ball and Alex
Caruso and people like that. I feel like I have the frame, and once
the game slows down for me a bit, I hope I could develop into a
Luka Doncic-type role.”
While those comparisons are lofty for Daniels, we can’t rule it
out. Who’s to say Daniels doesn’t become a valuable rotation piece
with the potential to become even more a few years down the line?
It’s why Daniels is generating immense buzz from teams leading up
to the draft. At the combine, he met with the following teams:
Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks,
Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto
“I try not to take it as pressure, but I’m trying to do
everything to get Bendigo and Australia on the map. Just be the
best version of me I can and do my best,” Daniels said.
When trying to find the best attributes to fit with where the
NBA is heading, a player in the mold of Daniels becomes extremely
valuable the more layers you discover in his game. That’s exactly
why Daniels is regarded as one of this year’s biggest pre-draft
risers across the board.
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