Dyson Daniels Aussie Youngster for New Orleans Pelicans Reactions Answers Comments Bill Simmons Top 70 Trade Value List Latest

Dyson Daniels is quickly building his reputation in the NBA.

The Aussie young gun’s impressive form whenever he took the field has meant his role throughout the first quarter of the season for a burgeoning New Orleans Pelicans team that stormed to No. 1 in the Western Conference has gradually grown.

It’s remarkable considering Daniels, 19, has started five games in recent weeks and played great minutes for a team that is now considered genuine title contenders – albeit with injuries to key players Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones.

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But those increased opportunities could have benefited anyone, as the Bendigo-born product, picked as the eighth overall winner six months ago, guarantees those opportunities with its stellar play.

While people Down Under have caught the eye of another promising Australian making a splash in the NBA, he’s also making waves in the US media.

Daniels is guarded by Chris Paul (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)Source: Delivered

In the coming days, The Ringer will release its 2023 NBA top trade value list, which effectively ranks the league’s top 70 players right now based on current production, potential and how much they’re paid. Bill Simmons revealed Daniels deserves an honorable mention, although it was missed.

In fact, Simmons noted that he could still find a spot for Daniels when the Top 70 is officially released – a remarkable feat considering he has superstars Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Zach LaVine and Bradley Beal for the ranks 70th through 67 – which clearly took into account their lucrative contracts compared to Daniels’ modest salary of $5.5 million (218th highest-paid player in the league).

“Daniels comes out looking like he’s 25 (years old). He might be on the list when I’m done,” he said of the Aussie on the Bill Simmons Podcast.

“I really like the way he carries himself… defensively he’s already there.

“He seems like he’ll be fun to play with and I’m excited to see how he develops for them and if they’re able to find minutes for them – because they (New Orleans) are a contender. “

As Simmons pointed out, seeing Daniels being used by Pelicans coach Willie Green to move forward when the team is healthy will be an intriguing watch given how much he’s made his stride with more opportunities.

There’s clearly a bigger role warranted for the youngster, who wasn’t even part of the Pels rotation on opening night, in any shape or form.

Regardless of whether he continues to play significant minutes, he has proven to be a great player for New Orleans and a real impact player in the league, with a bright future at one of the league’s most promising teams.

Daniels steals the ball from Doncic (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I really prayed that he would be there when the Wizards made the latest draft. I thought he would be a great defensive addition to the team,” NBA analyst Joe House said on the Bill Simmons Podcast.

“He just plays hard like a motherfucker and it’s incredible that he’s with the Pelicans.”

On the stat sheet, Daniels’ averages of 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds per game don’t jump off the page.

It’s the impact the versatile guard/forward has in a variety of ways that really stands out behind an athletic 6ft 7 (201cm) frame.

He’s put the game’s top superstars like LeBron James, Pascal Siakam, Chris Paul and Devin Booker, as well as Luka Doncic – the latter his opening duty when he first played proper minutes in a daunting NBA welcome moment – on the defensive – but he was always ready for such seismic match-ups.

Heck, how many 19-year-old rookies could you bet on such big names? No wonder Green had to find him another few minutes.

Also able to switch to different opponents during defensive sets, it’s Daniels’ play at the end of the pitch that he’s most impressed with.

But he’s also shown on offense, using his tremendous view of the court to lead offense and switch to attacking mode when he gets opens – he’s always made the right play and demonstrated a high basketball IQ.

Daniels performs a play (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)Source: Delivered

“Incredible ball handling and distribution… but he’s most comfortable playing defensively,” said former NBA player David Wesley at Bally Sports.

“I have a feeling we’re going to find out that he can also play a really good offense if he’s asked to do it.

“He’s not afraid of the moment and he’s not rushed. He has a good pace in his game.

“But his understanding and maturity on the defensive side of the ball is incredible – you don’t normally get that – his reads and rotations and all of that stuff.

“He’s a natural on defense and the fact that he also has an offensive game that’s a bonus.”

While a player picked with Pick 8 came into the NBA with good prospects, not many thought he or the Pelicans would come so soon.

Daniels doesn’t quite have the role of Josh Giddey as the starting point guard for OKC Thunder last season, which helped him thrive and put up big numbers, but contributing to a genuine contender is arguably more impressive.

Daniels has impressed so far (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Not many others from the 2022 draft class — or even previous draft classes — have produced for playoff teams, with Daniels’ recent game notably pushing him into the all-rookie team calculus.

As The Athletic’s William Guillory pointed out, Daniel’s ability to make an immediate impact on a successful team shows he’s “not like most newcomers”.

“Life can take you by surprise as an NBA rookie. Trying to settle into a new situation while your idols are trying to get you on their latest highlight tape is difficult. Some deal with it better than others,” Guillory wrote theathletic.com.

“Unlike most top 10 picks, Daniels’ entry into the league comes with a team that doesn’t need to produce him right away…the Pelicans planned to bring Daniels up slowly in hopes that he might be ready to make his contribution.” perform as the playoffs approach. But injuries to other key players have forced Daniels to be part of the rotation much sooner than expected.

“Because of this, New Orlans is learning that Daniels isn’t like most freshmen. His fearlessness, one of the main qualities that attracted the Pelicans to him in the preliminary design process, was fully showcased. He carries himself with a stoic demeanor uncommon for players his age. He enjoys protecting some of the top scorers in the world.

“With the opportunities he’s given, Daniels has shown he’s a far cry from the long-term project the Pelicans initially anticipated. It will be difficult to keep him off the ground this season once the team is fully recovered and his play at such a young age is forcing the entire organization to reconsider his long-term cap.”

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