Daniels sees great fit alongside Bradley Beal


WASHINGTON -- Every year as draft prospects pass through Washington, many of them remark to the media about how the Wizards hold one of the more difficult workouts from a physical conditioning standpoint. The most infamous drill is referred to as '20 lines in two minutes' and it's held right after the players give their all in a scrimmage.

Basically, each player has to touch every line on the court, running back and forth from the baseline. The vast majority of them can't finish it.

But according to TyTy Washington, one of their workout participants on Saturday, Dyson Daniels of G-League Ignite accomplished the feat. This comes after he posted the fastest shuttle run at the draft combine in May.

And after he aced the Wizards' test, he impressed in shooting drills. With his legs tired, he casually knocked down three after three at the Wizards' practice facility, showing no signs of fatigue.

These are just the latest positive signs for a player who may have more momentum behind him than any other prospect leading up to the June 23 draft. When the pre-draft process began, he was projected as a borderline lottery pick. Now it's a real question whether he will be available at 10th overall when the Wizards are on the clock.

"I don’t really have a weakness. I have a lot of strengths I can use. So, it’s just showing them a little bit of everything," he said, later adding: "I want to develop into like a Luka Doncic or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander type player who is really good at creating for themselves and creating for teammates."

Related: Should Wizards take Dyson Daniels or TyTy Washington?

Daniels met with reporters and spoke with confidence and seriousness about his craft. The Doncic reference didn't come off like a player with unrealistic expectations for himself. He painted a detailed picture of his game and why he believes it will translate to the next level.

Daniels, 19, is a 6-foot-8 point guard with positional versatility. He says he can confidently swing over to play the two, the three or even the four in a pinch. That is especially so on the defensive end where his size, length and toughness have drawn rave reviews from NBA evaluators.

On the defensive end, Daniels mentioned Mikal Bridges and Lonzo Ball as players he has studied. 

"As a kid, I’ve always had the defensive skills; quick hands and quick feet. Then, toughness is part of the game. That’s just something I think Australian basketball raises. Coming from the academy, they taught that that you have to be tough to stay on the floor. For me, it being in my DNA and playing tough and playing physical, I think it’s a fun part of the game. Defense wins games. Heart and hustle is what I think it takes on the defensive end. If you bring it every single possession, you’re going to be a good defender," he said.

That should sound great to the Wizards, who ranked 25th in defense last year. They have a hole at point guard and in an ideal world would find one who can play tough defense.

Daniels could bring that and much more in the long-term. On the offensive end, he is a gifted passer and has excellent feel for attacking off the dribble. He compares his game on that end of the floor to Tyrese Haliburton, specifically his ability to come off ball screens and finish with a floater in the lane.

Daniels can see himself playing in a Wizards uniform alongside star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

"Obviously, Beal’s a great player and has been a great player for a long time. I think we would fit well together. We can both play off each other a little bit. I can play off the ball with him, he can play off the ball with me. It takes a little time to adjust to playing with new people, but there’s definitely a fit there for sure," Daniels said.

The Wizards also interviewed Daniels at the combine. They are clearly interested, but at 10th overall are not guaranteed a chance to draft him. Part of why he has shot up draft boards is because he has grown several inches over the last calendar year.

When asked if he's still growing, Daniels quipped: "we'll have to see in six months."

In 14 games with G-League Ignite last year, Daniels averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He shot 44.9% from the field and 25.5% from three.

Daniels has some Wizards connections in his past, namely with Rod Strickland, who is an executive in the G-League Ignite program. Daniels had some trouble adjusting to the speed of the G-League early in their season, but Strickland took him under his wing and helped guide him to success. Strickland worked with him specifically on ball-handling and finishing, which were two standout skills of his during the prime of his NBA career.

"He was very helpful. He’s got a great mind for the game. Thanks to him for that because I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him, to be honest," Daniels said.

Daniels' next pre-draft workout is set for the Sacramento Kings next week. The Kings own the fourth overall pick, which may be another sign he won't be there at 10.

But if he is, Daniels would certainly make a lot of sense for the Wizards.

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