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NBA draft profile: Dyson Daniels looking to be the next great player from Australia

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Leading up to NBA Draft June 23rd., Sportzshala Sports will highlight the top prospects. Today’s prospect is G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels.

Who is Dyson Daniels?

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Daniels is a 6ft 7in Australian compound defender. He moved to America last year to play one season with G League Ignite. Daniels grew up in Bendigo, Australia (100 miles from Melbourne) and watched many other Australians grow up in the NBA.

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“I looked up to a lot of guys like Joe Ingles and Matthew Dellavedova, guys that I’m really close to,” Daniels told Sportzshala Sports. “For me, my favorite player in the NBA is Russell Westbrook with his mentality and the way he approaches his game.”

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Last season in the G League, the 19-year-old struggled to find his rhythm from the start. It was difficult for him to face older and stronger pros, but he still showed glimpses of what he could bring to an NBA team. In the second half of the season, Daniels began to read the defense better, using pick-and-roll opportunities off the flank, and this opened up space on the court for his teammates.

G League Ignite defenseman Dyson Daniels dribbles during a November game.  Daniels is scheduled to be selected by lottery in the 2022 NBA draft.  (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)
G League Ignite defenseman Dyson Daniels dribbles during a November game. Daniels is scheduled to be selected by lottery in the 2022 NBA draft. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)

Strengths of Dyson Daniels as a professional

Daniels averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals in 32 minutes in a 15-game season with Ignite. Daniels measured closer to 6 foot 8 in the shoes at the mill and has grown two inches over the past year. His size as a primary and secondary ball carrier is what propelled him up the draft boards at the end of the season. Daniels has a natural feel for the game and doesn’t try to force passes, patiently allowing himself what the defense gives him.

Defensively, he is quicker than meets the eye and can effectively breach through passing passes and drop low to grab the ball in a standing position.

Dyson Daniels questions on the next level

As effective as a playmaker Daniels is, his outside shots need to be improved and more consistent. Throughout the season, he shot under 30% from three-point range and struggled with shot selection. Daniels isn’t as explosive as the other top defensemen in the draft, but that doesn’t seem to bother Daniels.

“I was never considered the fastest or fastest kid growing up,” Daniels said. “What I’ve been working on for the past few months with my trainers is my quick first step and I’ve been working hard on my conditioning and changing my speed.”

This was shown in practice with the Wizards, where Daniels became the first prospect to go through pre-draft practice since 2018 to complete a nearly impossible 20 lines in a two-minute drill.

“I touched the line as soon as the buzzer rang and everyone in the gym went crazy,” Daniels said, laughing.

What the scouts say

Daniels can play a role on multiple teams, which is what makes him so attractive to teams at the top of the draft. His outside shot will continue to evolve, but he’s shown the NBA staff that he’s a huge asset.

“Dyson is the type of player who can fit into a lot of different NBA systems,” one NBA scout told Sportzshala Sports. “He has great size, he can play as a secondary ball carrier and also possibly be an option on the wing due to his versatility with and without the ball. He is a player who will continue to improve and have a long NBA career.” “

Daniels has worked for every team with 5 to 11 picks (Pistons, Pacers, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Spurs, Wizards and Knicks), making him a lottery lock. Daniels will become the second Aussie to be selected in the lottery after Josh Giddy, who was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the sixth pick last year, and he knows his emotions will be running high on draft night.

More 2022 NBA Draft Profiles

  • Johnny Davis, From 3-Star Rookie to Expected Lottery Pick

  • Jabari Smith could be Auburn’s first No. 1

  • Chet Holmgren, the most controversial player in the draft


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