Charlotte Hornets NBA Draft Profile: Dyson Daniels
With a few picks in the middle of the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets will be looking to add young talent to their core. Dyson Daniels is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft and could drop to 13th overall in Charlotte.
Awards and Honors:
In Daniels’ single season with G-League Ignite, he averaged 11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 4.4 APG on 45% FG / 73.7% FT / 25.5% 3PT . Daniels is also the first player to sign with the G-League Ignite franchise outside of the US school system. Daniels is also a product of the NBA Global Academy, a top-tier basketball facility located in Australia.
In his international competitions with Australia, Daniels has had great success. At the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2021 (U19), Daniels averaged 14.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 4.6 APG. Daniels was the MVP of the Waratah League, a professional league also known as NBL1 East, and was also named Young Player of the Year. He has the accolades and skills that should translate to success in the NBA.
Offensively, Daniels is a cerebral playmaker who has a high basketball IQ and feel for the game. He reads the ground well in both open floor and pick-and-roll. He’s also looking to strike forward in transition or make the extra pass, which could pair well with LaMelo Ball. Daniels finished with a 1.8 assist-to-rotation ratio in his only season with the G-League Ignite, showing he knows how to take care of the ball.
Scoring-wise, Daniels is a very good transition finisher and half-court lineman. He can finish with either hand and has a great float he can use if he can’t go all the way to the edge. Daniels is also comfortable playing the ball as a cutter and can catch lobs or catch and edge in cut scenarios. Finally from a finishing point of view, Daniels is very comfortable as a goalkeeper. He takes advantage of the offsets with his height and length and has a great touch on his left shoulder.
Defensively, this is where Daniels has a very high ceiling. He can go from 1 to 3 and can also keep the 4 small balls. He has great length and does a great job walling off his opposition and containing the basketball. He also has decent verticality and can contest opposing shots on the edge, which is unique for a keeper. Daniels ranked in the 86th percentile of overall G-League defense. He also averaged 2.1 steals per game and 0.7 blocks per game last season.
Offensively, Daniels can still grow as a shot-maker and ball-handler. He’s pretty good at both right now, but lacks elite counter-dribble moves or advanced dribbling packages at this point to create space. In terms of shot creation, he also lacks mid-range play and has no recoil or sidestep to use on the three-point line or mid-range. Advancing his arsenal will come a long way not only in terms of shot creation, but also increasingly difficult to contain dribbling. It will also lead to more shooting opportunities for his teammates where he has proven he is more than capable of finding the open man when the defense breaks down.
There are also questions about Daniels and his perimeter jump. Personally, I think he has great mechanics and his shooting will evolve with constant reps and coaching to the next level. In percentages, Daniels shot just 25.5 percent from three. This will be something to watch for in the future as he will likely play most of his time without the ball at the next level. However, he shot 45% from three in his last 9 games of the G-League season, so only time will tell which number will be true.
Hornet compatibility and overall rating:
Daniels would be a big help for the Hornets in the backcourt because of his defensive versatility and extra play that the Hornets covet. Charlotte desperately needs perimeter defenders and Daniels is one of the best in the draft. Daniels’ fit in Charlotte is ideal and would benefit Charlotte on both sides of the ball. In terms of overall rating, Daniels is a top 8 talent in this draft due to his combination of upside, game savvy, defensive versatility, and budding offensive skill.
The problem with Daniels is that he’s scheduled anywhere from top 8 to late lottery. I wouldn’t expect Daniels to be available at No. 13 or No. 15, but if he’s still on the board, it would be a good deal to put him in either spot.