Pelicans’ Willie Green explains what makes Dyson Daniels unique

Dyson Daniels was highly touted entering the NBA as a high-level defender that can also impact games in a variety of ways, and it is that ability that has been on display so far this season.

Of course, Daniels was taken with the eighth pick by the New Orleans Pelicans. He played last season with the G League Ignite and was the highest-drafted prospect from that team, which also included draftees MarJon Beauchamp and Jaden Hardy.

He is averaging 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and one steal in 37 games this season with the Pelicans. With the Pelicans dealing with some injuries, Dyson has started in each of the last five games and is posting 5.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in that span.

Pelicans coach Willie Green explained what makes him unique.

Dyson has been doing great for us. A young guy — 19 years old — I’m kind of throwing him in the fire, especially with guys being out but he is handling it well. We know he is an excellent defender, a high-IQ basketball player on the floor. He’ll make some mistakes and those are things we can correct and continue to get better but he brings a ton of confidence into games. He has great size for a wing. He can play four positions and guard four positions so that makes him unique. We’ll continue to work together with our whole group. We’re excited about Dyson and what he brings to our team.

Daniels has produced when called upon this season. He brings immense energy and effort to every play and can affect games on both ends of the court. He is also counted on to guard the opposition’s best player and often finds success in that role.

He will continue to develop as the season progresses, but it is clear that Daniels is emerging as a key player for New Orleans. It can be rare that a first-year player contributes nightly for a playoff contender, but Daniels has looked to be anything but a rookie at times.

The Pelicans were ecstatic to add Daniels through the draft and believe he can be a player that can contribute. He is taking advantage of his opportunity this season and will be a hard player to keep off the court based on his recent production.

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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire