While Josh Giddey may have made an instant impact in his rookie NBA campaign, the 19-year-old will be joined by another young Australian prospect next season.
And if mock draft boards are anything to go by, Dyson Daniels is also a strong chance of following Giddey’s footsteps and being a top-10 pick at this year’s draft.
The 19-year-old has been making waves in the G League, the NBA’s official minor league, and went agonizingly close to making history earlier this month.
Tue, Mar 29
Tuesday March 29th
Watch the 21/22 NBA Season with ESPN on Kayo. Live coverage every week plus every game of the NBA Finals. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Daniels finished with 21 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists against the Stockton Kings, two assists short of a first-ever triple double for a G League Ignite player.
Daniels also joined Giddey at the NBA’s All-Star weekend last month and has since returned home to Australia in the lead-up to the upcoming draft.
He spent time on Monday with ESPN’s NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz.
Schmitz, along with Jonathan Givony, are the top source for scouting information on the top basketball prospects in the world and both are highly impressed with Daniels.
So much so that Schmitz has tipped the Australian to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming draft.
“Dyson Daniels, remember the name,” Schmitz told ESPN’s ‘NBA Today’ on Tuesday.
“He is incredibly impressive on both ends of the floor. I think he is one of the most complete leads. He’s 6’8 in shoes with a 6’11 wingspan, defends multiple positions, can play 1-through-4 and then the IQ, the vision.
“He plays that unselfish style and can see over the top in the half-court offensively. He is a big guard.”
Like Giddey, Daniels also grew up playing Aussie rules football, which Schmitz said also makes him an elite passer and floor general.
“He actually played Aussie rules for six years so he’s got these funky instincts like we’ve seen from Josh Giddey,” Schmitz said.
“He developed at the NBA Academy before going to the G-League Ignite and I’m really impressed with his versatility and ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor.”
Daniels appeared on ESPN’s’The Jump’ late last week and like Giddey, spoke of his desire to simply “want to help a team win” instead of chasing any individual braces.
“I try not to pay too much attention to it but obviously I see them all on social media,” he said of the hype surrounding his season with the Ignite.
“I do see them, but I think at the end of the day it’s what the team’s think is going to help them. For me, it’s just getting in the gym and putting in the work.”
Daniels has certainly been putting in the work on his shooting from deep, growing in confidence with more time “adjusting to the ball and NBA 3-point line”.
It is similar to Giddey, who struggled with his 3-point shooting in the NBL but improved dramatically as the season went on, meaning his average shooting percentage did not tell the full story.
“That’s my swing skill, being able to shoot the basketball,” Daniels said.
“I think my last nine games I shot it 45 per cent, so I think for me it’s just getting in the gym and getting reps up.
“I’ve always had the mechanics, it’s just adjusting to the ball, adjusting to the NBA 3-point line. Once I got the hang of that, the stroke was feeling really good in the end.”