There aren’t a lot of Aussies that can say they were a top ten draft pick in the NBA. Even fewer can say they went from playing with the Bendigo Braves to playing in the biggest basketball league in the world. Dyson Daniels is just the eighth Australian player to go in the top ten. He was picked at number 8 by the New Orleans Pelicans.
This is the second year in a row that an Aussie has gone in the Top Ten. Just last year, Josh Giddey swapped his Adelaide 36ers uniform for an Oklahoma City Thunder one after getting snapped up at No. 6 in the 2021 NBA Draft.
By joining the New Orleans Pelicans, Daniels finds himself with a team on the rise. After a surprising playoff run last year the Pelicans are finally putting things together. If former Number 1 pick Zion Williamson returns from injury and the Pelicans maintain momentum, Daniels finds himself joining a team that could be a force to be reckoned with next season.
Dyson grew up in Bendigo and followed in his dad’s footsteps by joining the Bendigo Braves when he was just 15. Like a lot of kids in country Victoria, Daniels grew up playing Aussie rules but packed that in to focus on basketball. Has that shift in sport paid off? Well, as the number 8 draft pick, Daniels will be looking at a starting salary of $4.4 million, and that’s in American money as well.
That would be around $6.3 million Australian dollars, and to put it in comparison, Dustin Martin is currently earning $9 million across seven seasons in AFL. If you’re one of those sporting parents pushing your kid into professional sports, maybe think about swapping the posts for a hoop.
Could Dyson Daniels finally surpass the Bank as Bendigo’s most famous export? Time will tell. However, he performs in the NBA there is one thing that’s certain: Daniels will join the illustrious list of highest-paid/least-famous-in-Australia Australian athletes alongside Joe Ingles and his $65 million in career earnings.