The G League Ignite program has proved successful after two years of operation and is now ready to send a second batch of prospects into the 2022 NBA Draft. Dyson Daniels has proven to be a talented wing prospect and has separated himself as the top-ranked prospect coming out of the Ignite program this draft cycle. He and others will continue to showcase this alternative path to the NBA.
Aussie @DysonDaniels continues to show out in the G-League – he had 21 points, 18 rebounds and 8 assists, almost recording the first triple-double in franchise history. ?? ??@gleagueignite #TheWorldsMostG pic.twitter.com/ypYSY5tqZC
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) March 7, 2022
The first thing that pops off the page with Dyson Daniels is his ability to play defense. While he is good or great at other things his defensive ability sets him apart from the other prospects coming out of the G League this draft cycle. His ability on and off the ball defensively allow him to guard multiple positions on the court. He is also an incredible help side defender and clogs up passing lanes. Daniels’ ability to disrupt the opposing offense will be a skill that immediately impacts the NBA team that drafts him.
This past season with the Ignite he averaged two steals per game and showcased his lockdown ability against professional athletes. At 6’7″ with a 6’11” wingspan, he has the ability to go up against guards and forward alike. He could very easily be tasked with guarding the NBA’s best players night in and night out one day in the future. Daniels also projects as a solid defensive rebounder.
The era of the point forward in the NBA is in full swing and players enter the draft every year with that unique set of skills. Daniels is one such forward with the ability to run the offense from the forward position. While playing in the G League the talented forward looked like a natural with the ball in his hands on the fastbreak and showcased great decision-making in the moment. His ability to grab rebounds and just go will be an asset to the NBA team that drafts him. In half-court sets, he also capitalized on the mistakes and holes that defenses made. This past season in the G League he averaged 6.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. With more experience, he could become a talented floor general in the NBA.
Dyson Daniels looking like he has eyes in the back of his head with this assist!!!? @gleagueignite
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) March 13, 2022
Between his talent and his G League experience, Dyson Daniels is perhaps the most NBA-ready prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft. There are some coaches and teams that prefer NBA readiness over a player that may have more potential but isn’t as NBA ready. With Daniels, he is gifted with both plenty of potential and NBA-ready ability. His defense and playmaking should translate immediately and should see him in an NBA rotation early in his NBA career. While the G League fined tuned his skills, Daniels looked like a top NBA prospect coming out of high school. If a lottery team is looking for a day one starter on the wing then Daniels may just be the perfect fit.
The biggest concern with Daniels was his inconsistency in shooting the ball, especially beyond the three-point line. It was clear he struggled early from beyond the arc and his shooting form was slower than most NBA teams would like. His free throw percentage was also concerning for a player that relies on scoring around the rim as he does. Finally, while this is less concerning it still should be highlighted. For a slasher, Daniels does not posse explosive athletic ability when going up with the ball. That can be overcome but gets harder without a more reliable jump shot.
NBA Comparison: Evan Turner
Evan Turner entered the NBA with a lot of the same upside that Dyson Daniels has heading into the 2022 NBA Draft. Injuries and a slightly different style of play in the NBA at the time slowed down Turner’s career. If Dyson Daniels can develop an outside shot he could thrive in an NBA more friendly to point forwards. A lottery team will likely take the G League forward and plug him into their main rotation on day one. He should be up for and ready for the challenge.