With the 2022 NBA draft just a few days away, teams are at the peak of discussing what prospect best fits the future of their team, as well as who could potentially break out to become one of the NBA’s best for years to come. The Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets hold the top 3 picks of the draft.
The assumption is that the three picks will be (in some order) Jabari Smith Jr, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero. Still, a player who has not been in that consideration so far, whose skill, athleticism, and feel for the game give him the potential of becoming the best player in the 2022 class, is Dyson Daniels.
A 6’8″ 19-year-old Point Forward out of Bendigo, Australia, Dyson Daniels is the son of former NC State and South East Australian Basketball League star, Ricky Daniels. Dyson grew up playing Australian Football, a sport known to help develop spatial awareness, body tension, and torsion, among other skills focused on ball protection, possession, and defensive pressure.
After representing Victoria nationally through his youth in Australian Football, he quit the sport to concentrate on basketball. Dyson signed with his dad’s former NBL1 team, the Bendigo Braves, in 2019. He then went on to join the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, where Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder attended before his time in the NBL.
At the time, Dyson was a 6’4″ shooting guard, known for his willingness to move the ball, incredible work rate on both ends of the floor, and ability to impact his teammates positively. However, he was not seen as one of the top prospects in the area, often struggling offensively against higher-level talents. What kept Dyson on the court at the time was his defensive ability and creating leverage on the offensive end.
Nevertheless, as time passed, Daniels saw steady improvements in his game. His performance in the Global Academy and during his time in the youth system in Australia saw him get a contract from the G League Ignite, as well as a call-up for the Australia U-19 World Cup team in 2021.