Why Dyson Daniels is Australia's highest ceiling prospect since Ben Simmons
Benigo native Dyson Daniels looks set to follow in Josh Giddey's footsteps, as a first round pick in June's NBA draft.
Dyson Daniels is less than one month away from becoming Australia’s next NBA player.
The Bendigo native developed his craft at Canberra’s NBA Global Academy, where he played alongside the likes of Josh Giddey, Mojave King and Tyrese Proctor. Unlike Giddey however, Daniels chose to pass on a likely slew of NBL Next Star offers, instead becoming the first Aussie to join the G League Ignite program.
The G League move paid major dividends for Daniels, who averaged 11.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists in over 30 minutes per game, and emerged as the standout Ignite prospect. These figures don’t jump off the page, but Daniels is a noted defender and an unselfish player. He’s also a versatile scorer inside the arc, often deploying a floater to get buckets in the paint, instead of banking on reaching the rim every time. Marty Clarke, technical director of the NBA Global Academy, recently offered some insight into his former pupil, in a recent interview with The Pick and Roll.
“Dyson is old school in some ways. He doesn’t need to score a lot of points during the course of a game. He has the ability to do that, and that’s an ability that is improving weekly, or daily even, as his shooting improves and opens up other areas of his game. But, he can influence a game in ways like rebounding - great rebounder for a point guard. And [he has] a big, strong, long body. Defensively, he can guard the ball [and] stay in front of people, but he’s a good team defender [as well]. He knows where to get to, and [he] knows how to help,” Clarke shared.
“But he also influences a game in ways of leadership. [For example], getting his boys organised [and] getting other people organised. He’s a multi-dimensional player [such] that, until you sit and watch him for a while, you don’t realise how good he actually is.”
Going beyond his basic numbers, Daniels averaged an impressive 1.9 offensive rebounds per game, and made 53% of his two point field goal attempts. The lanky guard isn’t one to pad his defensive rebound stats like Russell Westbrook, but passes the eye test when hustling on the offensive glass.
Daniels’ three-point shooting clip of 30% (on 3.4 attempts per game) leaves a lot to be desired, but this season average doesn’t tell the whole story. Over his last nine games, Daniels made 14 of 31 three point attempts at a 45% clip, suggesting he may have improved his shooting mechanics as the season went on. Outside shooting is a swing skill for Daniels ahead of the 2022 NBA draft, and may make or break his chances of lottery selection.
“That [shooting stroke] was definitely a focal point for him coming in. We knew that he had to become a better shooter. He’s one of those guys, and there’s lots of them in Australia, where at a young age, playing in their own domestic league, they are either bigger or more athletic than everyone [else]. So they can get to the rim all the time,” Clarke added, when recalling Daniels’ growth at the NBA Global Academy.