Australian guard Dyson Daniels will enter the 2022 NBA Draft, he told ESPN on Saturday.
“I’m all for the draft,” Daniels said. “I feel more than ready for this next step in my career and I’m excited for this process to begin.”
Daniels, the No. 10 ESPN 100 prospect, is trying to become the second consecutive player to be drafted in the lottery after graduating from the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, following in the footsteps of Josh Giddey, the No. 6 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Daniels had a stellar season in the NBA G League, averaging 12.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.0 steals in 32 minutes in 26 games. He played with and against some of the NBA’s top rookies and sophomores in the Rising Stars contest during NBA All-Star weekend, helping his team win the championship with four points, three rebounds, two assists. and two blocks in the final game. .
“This year with G League Ignite was a success for me in what I was trying to get out of it,” Daniels said. “I was able to learn a lot about myself and my place on the pitch. I felt more and more comfortable in my role and I was constantly learning [from] veterans like Pooh Jeter, Kevin Murphy and our amazing coaching staff. NBA teams could see that I could hold multiple positions and be the best defender on the court, as well as my ability to lead a team and play rebound. My shooting has improved and I have gained comfort playing with the ball as a cutter and point shooter.”
Daniels, 19, was the first much-touted player in the G League Ignite, an alternative path to college basketball created by the NBA for elite draft hopefuls, landed from outside the American school system, which which represents a change in program recruitment. . Daniels has been on NBA radars for quite some time, having been invited to the NBA Academy Games in Atlanta as a 16-year-old in July 2019, where he was 6-foot-5, 162 pounds, and has gradually become an elite player. . level prospect, now standing 6 feet and 200 pounds less than three years later.
Daniels has participated in various NBA Academy events around the world and received his first call-up to represent his home country’s senior national team in the FIBA window in February 2021 at the age of 17. He compiled 23 points, four assists, three rebounds and six steals in a bombardment of New Zealand. He also had a solid showing at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup last summer, averaging 14 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.3 steals in 27 minutes for the Australia.
Daniels’ transition from the NBA Global Academy to the G League was not seamless, as he struggled early with the physicality and pace of the American game, as well as distance from the NBA’s 3-point line. , which is farther from the FIBA line. As the season progressed, he looked more and more comfortable, gaining strength, increasing his aggression and becoming more assertive. NBA scouts are now almost unanimously naming him the top prospect in the Ignite program and he has a shot at potentially making the top 10 in this year’s draft. Although he was long considered an elite defender and highly intelligent playmaker, he hit 45% of his 3-pointers in the final nine games of the G League season, which included several near misses. triple-doubles.
“I struggled at first to find my place in the team because we had so many good scorers,” Daniels said. “But as the season progressed and the coach put the ball in my hand, I was able to find myself as the main playmaker. We built our chemistry and learned our roles in the game. team, which helped me take my game to the next level.”
“One of the things I can’t wait to show NBA teams is my ability to create my own shot. It’s something I’ve worked hard on. I can’t wait to show them. my versatility in playing multiple positions and using my basketball IQ to be a problem solver.”
Daniels will join Giddey, Ben Simmons, Dante Exum and others as second-generation Australian professionals to join the NBA ranks, as the son of American expat Ricky Daniels, who went to college at North Carolina State and moved to Victoria after many years with the Bendigo Braves. Dyson’s brother Kai Daniels plays basketball at Division II Regis University in Denver, while his younger brother Dash shines at youth level in Australia with Bendigo, where Dyson also got his start.
Dyson says he studies the tendencies of many NBA players to help determine how he can fit into the league.
“Offensively, I watched Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic,” he said. “I like how they use their change of pace, creative passing and basketball IQ to read the game and improve their teammates. Defensively I watch Mikal Bridges, Alex Caruso, Matisse Thybulle and Lonzo Ball. J love how they overcome screens, read and impact the game. Personally, I want to play my part at a high level, help a team win with my winning mentality and compete with every possession on both sides.
The NBA draft will take place May 16-22 in Chicago and the draft will take place June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private drafting and analysis service used by the NBA, NCAA and international teams.