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Australia’s next NBA star prepares to follow in Ben Simmons’ footsteps

Australia’s next NBA star gears up to follow in Ben Simmons’ footsteps: why 203cm Dyson Daniels will be one of the first players to be included in this year’s draft

  • Dyson Daniels to be the next Australian hotshot to make it to the NBA
  • Daniels is the son of Bendigo legend Ricky Daniels and should be a top 10 pick
  • He is seen as a specialist defender and has impressed in the G-League
  • Ben Simmons, Josh Giddey and Dante Exum have all made it to the NBA

Ben Simmons, Josh Giddey, Dante Exum and now Dyson Daniels – Australia continues to rise above its weight in the NBA, with the latter one of the top-ranked prospects of the 2022 draw.

Daniels has long been a darling of the underage ranks of Victoria and Australia, and the NBA hopeful has risen up the draft boards despite avoiding the typical college football path — with ESPN listing him as the sixth-best prospect.

Instead, the talented shooting guard — and son of Bendigo Braves legend Ricky Daniels — decided to test his mettle in the G-League, the NBA’s small league — and after a slow start, he definitely proved he could do it on the big stage.

Daniels is the son of Bendigo Braves legend Ricky Daniels

The shooting guard has played in the G-League

Dyson Daniels seems destined to become Australia’s next NBA star

He played for Ignite, a new team founded in 2020 dedicated solely to developing young design prospects.

As expected, Daniels grew in the league, scoring an average of 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2 steals and 0.8 blocks.

‘I love it. Going there was a risk for me, but it paid off,” Daniels told ESPN’s “The Jump” in March.

‘I really enjoyed my time. We had a good group of guys who loved to play together. We had a great coaching staff and I learned and developed a lot on and off the field, which was the main reason I went there.”

The Victorian has impressed in the G-League and looks set to become a top 10 draft pick

The Victorian has impressed in the G-League and looks set to become a top 10 draft pick

At six feet tall, Daniels is a strong defender who can defend from one to four, although he is expected to cover five in the end.

‘I think it is [his defence] what will immediately get him on a job when he joins the NBA,” Ignite head coach Jason Hart told me. foxsports.com.au

“His ability to guard one to four and as he gets stronger he will be able to guard one to five because he’s a big man.”

“I really think he could be an elite defender at NBA level,” added Melbourne United assistant coach Justin Schueller, who mentored Daniels at the national youth level.

He hopes to follow in the footsteps of players like Josh Giddey (above) in his rookie season

He hopes to follow in the footsteps of players like Josh Giddey (above) in his rookie season

“He has so many gifts to that end — his reach, his ability to sit down and watch over people, and the physicality he can get there.”

Thanks to Daniels’ holistic approach to the game, pundits have compared the young weapon to his compatriot Josh Giddey, who was picked last year by the Oklahoma Thunder with the sixth overall pick.

He has worked with the Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks.

Wherever Daniels lands, he is certainly destined for a long and prosperous NBA career.

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