Dyson Daniels likely won’t fall to Knicks in 2022 NBA draft

Dyson Daniels stock was one of the few stocks that rose during these difficult economic times.

The 6-foot-8 Australian point guard entered the combined NBA draft last month and is sure to play when the Knicks take the 11th overall pick.

But the 19-year-old G-League Ignite omnipotent guard has impressed in Chicago. His Pro Day is electric and he measures 6-7 ¹/₂ without shoes. He may be out of reach for the Knicks — just like when Chris Duarte’s stock soared in the last draft.

Wearing a pink jersey after a group workout with the Knicks on Monday, Daniels didn’t want to get caught up in where he was going to land.

“I don’t pay too much attention to the ups and downs of stocks,” Daniels said. “At the end of the day, it’s the team that chooses you, not the media. So I’m just going out and playing my game. If I’m going to get up, I’m going to get up. If I’m going to fall, I’m going to fall. But I’ll do my best for.

All told, he’ll be training with five clubs including Portland (7), Indiana (6), Detroit (5), Washington (10), San Antonio (9) and New Orleans (8) ahead of the Knicks) .

Dyson Daniels
NBAE via Getty Images

“I’m just enjoying my ride,” Daniels said. “I always wanted to play in the NBA as a kid, I just immersed myself in every moment. It’s a great place to be in front of all these scouts.”

The teenager, whose American father played pro in Australia, checked a lot of boxes for the Knicks. He’s an excellent defender with a high basketball IQ and a smart passer.

G-League Ignite coach Jason Hart made him point guard this season because he felt he could make the biggest impact there, especially with the Knicks.

Knicks president Leon Rose desperately needed a point guard after the Kemba-Walker-Derrick Rose tandem became a total disaster.

“I think growing up, I’ve always been a true point guard, just like the way I played, the way I looked at the court, my IQ, my size,” Daniels said. “So I think I can definitely play that position and add some value on the defensive end. So if that’s where they want me to play, I’ll be there.”

Additionally, Daniels considers himself an agile defensive specialist, comparing himself to Mikal Bridges and Alex Caruso.

“Defense is my strength,” Daniels said. “I’d take it in every game. I’d go out there and defend the best player. That’s my best skill in the NBA. New York, you have a very defensive team, and Coach Tibbs is A great coach. If that’s my role on this team, if I’m drafted, I’ll definitely play that role.”

Three lottery picks of Ohio State sharpshooter Malachi Branum and Kentucky point guard Teddy Washton were selected in Monday’s six-man tryout. It’s rare to group three lottery picks into the same scrimmage/workout.

NBA draft
Malachi Brabham dribbles.
Getty Images

“I think it’s going well,” Daniels said. “I showed everything I could do. These workouts are short and fast [one-plus hours]. They can get a glimpse of what you can do. I think I showed everything and versatility I can do.

The Knicks interviewed Daniels and Branham in Chicago but not in Washington. This could be a clue to the pecking order.

Growing up in rural Bendigo, Australia, Daniels has a very diverse background, attending high school at the NBA Global Academy and playing professionally with older players in Germany. He turned down offers from some mid-spec colleges to go the G-League Ignite route to prepare prospects for professionals without courses.

He’s the shiny new thing teams are looking for — capable of defending multiple positions. The Celtics have made this fashionable.

“It’s versatility,” Daniels said. “I can play 1 to 4. I can have the ball, I can pass the ball, so I think my main advantage is in the PG position, but I can adapt to any situation and play without the ball. I think that’s why my Shooting has come a long way.”

It all sounds perfect, except he’s not a natural 3-point shooter (30.3 percent) and has to work hard. NBA scouts hope he’s improving in that regard over his compatriot Ben Simmons, now with the Nets.

“His forms are not messed up,” Hart told The Washington Post in Chicago. “He just needs representatives.”

According to sources, Hart wanted to see Daniels end in New York, believing it would be a strong publicity for Ignite. The question is whether he falls out of the top ten.


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