With the eighth pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, David Griffin and the New Orleans Pelicans have selected Dyson Daniels, a 6’8 guard from Australia who played with the G League Ignite last season.
Daniels put up a line of 11.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 26 games for the Ignite, but showed incredible improvement as the season progressed.
His best attribute is his defensive versatility. With a wingspan of 6’11 and really quick feet, Daniels showed a distinct ability to stay with perimeter players of all sizes, coming up 2.0 steals per game. However, he also enjoyed success against bigger forwards as evidenced by 0.7 blocks.
While Daniels’ shot needs improvement, he can contribute on offensive immediately in the league, thanks to legitimate point guard playmaking skills and the ability to score inside the lane at the rim and off floaters.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic ranked Daniels seventh on his top-100 board, putting him in a class of “High-leverage Starters.”
End of the day, I think Daniels is the kind of player you win with. He’s a terrific defender as a teenager whom you can expect to make an impact from Day 1. He handles the ball well and passes at a high level. He processes the game quickly and plays unselfishly. Even without the threat of the jumper right now, he helps teams through his sheer presence out there, which gives him a real floor. And if that jumper ever comes along – and given his touch and some of the relatively easier mechanical tweaks that will hopefully help his jumper with prep, it’s a reasonable bet that it will – the ceiling is being one of the best role players in the NBA.
Stay tuned, we’ll have more analysis of Daniels in coming days, but I went into greater depth on him in an article posted earlier today.