Teen Aussie sensation Dyson Daniels joins Zion Williamson at the New Orleans Pelicans after being selected at pick eight in the NBA draft – joining a VERY exclusive club of players from Down Under
- The 19-year-old has had a rapid rise and debuted for the Boomers at just 17
- He elected to play in the G League Ignite, bypassing the US college system
- It was a move that paid off, as he led that league in steals and assists
- He will now join former No.1 pick Williamson in a potent New Orleans outfit
Teenage Aussie basketballer Dyson Daniels is set to become our next NBA star after he was selected at pick eight at the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.
Dyson join the likes of Luc Longley, Andrew Bogut, Ben Simmons and Josh Giddey in an elite group of nine other Aussies to be drafted in the top 10 of their respective NBA draft years.
While the 19-year-old from Bendigo was tipped to be selected as high as pick five, he ended up going later in a draft where expert predictions all quickly unravelled.
Daniels will join a Pelicans side that will be a force to be reckoned with in the 2022/23 season, with former No.1 selection Zion Williamson to return after a foot injury ruled him out for all of last season.
Australian Dyson Daniels from the G-League Ignite arrives at the NBA Draft with his mother Brikkita Kool-Daniels and father Ricky Daniels
Daniels has drawn comparisons with fellow Australian Boomer Matisse Thybulle for his defensive prowess after leading the G league Ignite in assists and steals.
He is an NBA-ready defender, can guard multiple spots and held his opponents to just 37 per cent from the field in the Ignite.
Daniels has already been scouted as an Australian international player who can make an impact now, not for later, and made his Boomers debut last year when he was just 17.
Chris Anstey is an Australian basketball champion who has played and coached in the NBL, played in the NBA and represented his country numerous times.
He said Aussies could expect Daniels to have an immediate impact with the Pelicans.
‘Congratulations Dyson Daniels! Another Aussie in the NBA who will contribute immediately. Exciting times for Australian basketball,’ he tweeted.
Daniels poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center
Indiana, Portland, Washington and San Antonio had all been linked to Daniels prior to the draft with a Pacers scout saying Daniels ‘one of the best workouts they had ever seen’ in his time with the club leading up to the draft.
Daniels finished his stint in the G League Ignite, where elite NBA prospects forgo their amateur status and college careers by signing a professional contract with the program, averaging 11.3 points per game, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
Daniels played in the NBL1 second-tier competition in Australia before working out at the NBA Academy in Canberra with Australian and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Josh Giddey before travelling to the United States to make his name in the G League Ignite.
Ousmane Dieng was also picked by the New York Knicks at pick 11. The French star played for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL competition last season as part of its Next Star program.