Bendigo native Dyson Daniels has become Australia’s latest NBA sensation after being selected eighth overall in the 2022 draft.
The 202cm guard saw his stock fly through the roof during the pre-draft process and his tantalising potential proved too hard for the New Orleans Pelicans to pass up.
Having been drafted inside the top 10 selections, Daniels stands to earn in excess of $6 million in his first season and will sign a guaranteed two-year deal with the Pelicans, with the team holding options for a third and fourth year.
READ MORE: Red Bull boss shreds struggling F1 rivals
READ MORE: ‘Panicking’ Aussie teen’s history-making win
ULTIMATE GUIDE: State of Origin Game II
“When I heard my name called, my heart just dropped,” Daniels told ABC.
“I’m just so happy. To be a Pelican, there’s no better place, so I can’t wait to get to work. This is crazy, for real.”
The Aussie’s ability to play defend multiple positions will allow him to get minutes early on playing alongside the likes of CJ McCollum and the returning Kira Lewis Jr, who missed the 2021-22 season with an injury.
“He’s an NBA-ready defender,” ESPN draft expert Jay Bilas said of the selection.
“He can handle it, he rebounds at a high rate, but he can guard multiple spots. He’s a good handler and he’s a very good passer.
“He reminds me a little bit of Matisse Thybulle when he came out of Washington, but he’s bigger than Thybulle. He’s ready to defend in the NBA right now.”
Daniels joins a team that is ready to rocket up the NBA standings next season if All-Star forward Zion Williamson is healthy to play.