NBA Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /
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NBA Draft
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 28: Dyson Daniels #11 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives with the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder during a game at the Smoothie King Center on November 28, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

8. New Orleans Pelicans – Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite

After producing two top-10 picks in 2021 (Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga) the class for the G-League Ignite in 2022 was underwhelming. Jaden Hardy had a shaky season that saw him fall out of the first round entirely, while MarJon Beauchamp landed at 24. Dyson Daniels was, perhaps unexpectedly, the one player to build top value and end up in the Top 10, going eighth overall to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Daniels joined a Pelicans team that is already flush with rotation players, including long-limbed defenders, so even though he has an elite skill it wasn’t needed overly much. He is absolutely nasty as an on-ball defender, with a wingspan – footspeed combination that makes it nearly impossible for opposing guards and even most wings to get past him.

The offense is what pulls Daniels’ value down a bit, as he averaged just 3.8 points per game on 41.8 percent shooting, including just 31.4 percent from 3-point range. He is worth a rotation role even with the shaky offense, but for him to realize anything close to his potential he needs to be a good shooter, a scoring threat with the ball in his hands, or both. He would likely go a few picks later in a redraft, with Jeremy Sochan a better defensive archetype and Jalen Williams a better perimeter player.

Grade: B