Dyson Daniels

And-Ones: Australia, McLemore, York, Jerebko, Calipari, Klutch

The Australian national team has revealed its preliminary roster for the 2024 Olympics, announcing a list of 22 players that are in the mix to play in Paris. That group will have to be cut down to 12 players ahead of this summer’s tournament.

Australia’s preliminary roster includes several NBAers, including Thunder guard Josh Giddey, Mavericks guard Dante Exum, Trail Blazers forward Matisse Thybulle and big man Duop Reath, Mavericks wing Josh Green, Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels, Magic forward Joe Ingles, Heat guard Patty Mills, Rockets center Jock Landale, and Grizzlies forward Jack White.

As Olgun Uluc of ESPN notes, the newest addition to the Boomers’ roster is 19-year-old Johnny Furphy, who played for the Kansas Jayhawks in 2023/24 and is projected by ESPN to be a potential first-round pick in this year’s draft.

The most notable absence is Ben Simmons, as the Nets guard underwent back surgery last month that will sideline him for the Olympics. Simmons doesn’t have much history with the Australian national team, so it’s unclear if he would’ve been part of the Boomers’ roster in Paris even if he’d been healthy.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Ben McLemore was arrested and jailed this week in Oregon and faces multiple felony sexual assault charges, reports Baxter Holmes of ESPN. The charges, which include first-degree rape, stem from an alleged incident in 2021, when McLemore was a member of the Trail Blazers.
  • Former NBA guard Gabe York, who appeared in five games for the Pacers across two seasons from 2021-23, has signed with Basquet Girona, the Spanish team announced this week in a press release. York played for the G League Ignite earlier this season.
  • Following a two-year hiatus from basketball, Swedish forward Jonas Jerebko is making a comeback, having signed with Puerto Rican team Santeros de Aguada, according to Eurohoops. Jerebko, who turned 37 last month, appeared in 635 NBA regular season games for four teams from 2009-19. He last played professionally for CSKA Moscow in 2022.
  • Shams Charania and Kyle Tucker of The Athletic take an in-depth look at John Calipari‘s decision to leave Kentucky for Arkansas after 15 years with the Wildcats, detailing how Calipari’s deal with the Razorbacks came about.
  • One Legacy Sports Management, led by veteran agent Mike George, is becoming part of Klutch Sports, CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Jamal Murray, Dillon Brooks, and Shaedon Sharpe are among George’s clients, per RealGM.

Southwest Notes: Daniels, Ingram, Jones, Whitmore, Wemby

Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels, who has been sidelined since February 9 due to knee surgery, has been cleared to return for Saturday’s game vs. Boston, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com.

Daniels wasn’t a major part of the Pelicans’ offensive attack earlier in the season, averaging a modest 5.5 points per game on 43.8% shooting (29.1% on threes). However, he started 15 of his 52 games and played 21.9 minutes per contest, in large part due to his defensive prowess. Assuming he’s not slowed by his knee at all, Daniels figures to reclaim a rotation role down the stretch.

There’s also good news out of New Orleans on injured forward Brandon Ingram, who was able to do some on-court work on Friday in what William Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link) describes as a positive step in his recovery from a knee contusion. Ingram will reportedly remain sidelined until at least Friday, but perhaps by next weekend he’ll be nearing a return.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans will be without guard Jose Alvarado on Saturday for a second straight game due to a right oblique strain, per the NBA’s official injury report. It’s unclear how much more time – if any – Alvarado might miss as a result of that injury.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Christian Clark of NOLA.com makes the case for Herbert Jones to claim a spot on this season’s All-Defensive first team, explaining why the player that Pelicans teammates describe as “our defensive leader” deserves the honor.
  • After missing the past nine games due to a sprained right knee, Rockets rookie Cam Whitmore believes he’s on the verge of returning to action. According to Whitmore, he’s working on getting his conditioning back to 100% and hopes to be cleared in time to suit up against Dallas on Sunday, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required). “I feel fine. There’s no pain (in the knee),” he said. “No tweaks, no issues, no nothing. I feel back to normal. I just have to feel better moving around laterally.”
  • Now that he has appeared in the requisite 65 games, Victor Wembanyama deserves serious consideration for this season’s Defensive Player of the Year award, writes Mike Monroe of The Athletic. “If you just watch the game you see how (Wembanyama) affects the game defensively,” Spurs guard Tre Jones said. “It’s tough because of our record, but I think most people know he’s already the best defender in the league. He’s already leading the league in blocks; leads in blocks and steals combined, more than previous NBA Defensive Player of the Year winners.”
  • Count Jalen Brunson among Wembanyama’s fans. After the Spurs‘ No. 1 overall pick racked up 40 points and 20 rebounds en route to an overtime win against the Knicks on Friday, Brunson – who scored 61 points in the losing effort – predicted that Wembanyama will be “one of the greatest players this game has seen,” tweets Paul Garcia of Project Spurs. “Just the way he’s built and what he’s been able to do so far,” Brunson said. “Got a lot of respect for him and it’s definitely tough to get a shot up and in over him.”

Western Notes: LeBron, Vincent, Daniels, Gobert, Kyrie

The Lakers, looking to make up ground in the Western Conference playoff race, won’t have LeBron James available on Tuesday in Milwaukee for the first game of their six-game road trip, the team announced today (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski). James has been ruled out due to his ongoing left ankle issues.

Elsewhere on the Lakers injury front, while there was a belief that Gabe Vincent may have been able to return by now following left knee surgery, he remains on the shelf and isn’t with the team in Milwaukee, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

According to McMenamin, if Vincent continues to make good progress in his rehab work, there’s a chance he’ll join the Lakers at some point during the current road trip, which runs through next Wednesday (April 3).

  • Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels, who underwent knee surgery in February after tearing his meniscus, appears to be nearing a return. The team announced today (via Twitter) that Daniels has been assigned to the G League and will be available to play for the Birmingham Squadron on Wednesday. The second-year wing hasn’t been active since February 9.
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert played in his 65th game of the season on Sunday and is now eligible for end-of-season awards, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). That benchmark is significant for Gobert, who is the current frontrunner to earn the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year honor this season.
  • After requesting trades out of Cleveland and Brooklyn and leaving Boston in free agency, Kyrie Irving has had a relatively calm, drama-free stint in Dallas so far. Marc Stein explores why that’s the case, writing at Substack that Irving has been willing to sacrifice, the Mavericks have built him a strong support system, and he and Luka Doncic have a genuine affinity for one another.

Southwest Notes: Zion, Daniels, Pelicans, Rockets, Gabriel

The Pelicans have been on a roll lately, going 6-1 since the start of March and 15-5 since January 31. Former No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson has played his best basketball of the season of late, coinciding with the team’s surge up the standings — New Orleans is currently 41-26, the No. 5 seed in the West, one game back of the slumping Clippers.

On his Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he’s heard from people around the team that Williamson has lost a considerable amount of weight since December, when the Pelicans were embarrassed by the Lakers in the semifinal of the in-season tournament.

I’ve got people in New Orleans telling me that since December when the in-season tournament happened, that Zion Williamson has lost 25 or more pounds, and his performance has been excellent,” Windhorst said (hat tip to Doric Sam of Bleacher Report). “He’s playing fewer minutes and I think that helps as well, but I’ve got people telling me he’s lost 25 pounds. And I don’t mean like in the past where they say, ‘Oh, he’s added muscle’ and it’s like, ‘Has he?’

Windhorst’s ESPN colleague Andrew Lopez has heard the same from his own sources, noting that Williamson “looks completely different,” both physically and as a player.

While Williamson has mostly been known for his offensive ability to this point in his career, he played impressive defense on Kawhi Leonard late in Friday’s victory over the Clippers, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Leonard finished with just two points on 1-of-3 shooting in seven minutes in the final period.

At the end of the game, I was like, ‘I got Kawhi,’Trey Murphy said. “He was like, ‘Nah, I got it.’ I was like, ‘You got it then. I’m not going to fight you then.’ That’s what you want out of your stars. You want them to take on the challenge.”

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels, who is recovering from a torn meniscus in his left knee, was a full participant in Monday’s practice, head coach Willie Green told reporters, including Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link). Daniels was doing 3-on-3 work post-practice as well, Guillory relays (via Twitter), which is another positive sign for the second-year guard, though Green said the 21-year-old still has to check a few more boxes before being cleared to return. Herbert Jones (back) and Larry Nance Jr. (non-COVID illness) were also full practice participants after missing Saturday’s game, Guillory adds.
  • The Rockets have gone 7-1 over their last eight games and now trail the Warriors and Lakers by 3.5 games for the final spot in the play-in tournament. It’s a stark contrast from the past few seasons, when the team was stuck at the bottom of the standings. As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link) writes, the Rockets know playing in high-pressure games is the next step in their development. “I’ve been on teams myself where you knew you were done by December, January,” head coach Ime Udoka said. “That’s not the best feeling. To have something to play for, but also change the mindset and mentality around here, was one of the main objectives this year. I think we did that from the start. To have a chance to play for something still at this point in the season but also finish on a strong note, guys are continuing to grow. It’s year one with me, and I think we’ve seen the progress. Things are starting to round out a little bit here and there. We’d like to have that momentum going into next year regardless of where we land.”
  • Wenyen Gabriel‘s 10-day contract with the Grizzlies expired overnight, notes Keith Smith of Spotrac (via Twitter). The Sudanese forward/center is now an NBA free agent, though Puerto Rico’s Vaqueros de Bayamon announced last week that Gabriel had signed a contract with the team for the coming season. The 26-year-old averaged 3.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in five games with Memphis.

Dyson Daniels Out At Least Four Weeks After Knee Surgery

Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels underwent successful left knee surgery on his torn lateral meniscus, the team announced. The 2022 lottery pick is expected to make a full recovery and will be reevaluated in four weeks, per the release.

Daniels has been a rotation regular for New Orleans in his second NBA season, averaging 5.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 52 games, including 15 starts (21.9 minutes). He posted a .438/.291/.640 shooting line in those contests.

Asked about Daniels on Wednesday, head coach Willie Green didn’t rule out the possibility that he could return before the playoffs begin on April 20, according to Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link). New Orleans is currently 33-22, the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

A 6’8″ combo guard out of Australia, Daniels was selected to the Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend, which will place tomorrow. However, due to his injury, he was replaced by Grizzlies wing Vince Williams.

The Pelicans exercised their third-year team option on Daniels before the season began, so he will earn a guaranteed $6,059,520 salary in 2024/25.

The Pels will have until the fall to decide they want to pick up their fourth-year option — worth $7,707,709 — for the final season of the 20-year-old’s rookie scale contract. That seems very likely given his solid contributions, particularly on the defensive end.

And-Ones: MVP Race, 2024 Draft, Korkmaz, Okafor, More

With Joel Embiid no longer eligible for this season’s MVP award due to the number of games he has missed, the race appears wide open, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, who conducted another version of his straw poll ahead of the All-Star break.

The 100 media members polled over the weekend by MacMahon selected Nuggets center Nikola Jokic as the current MVP favorite, with Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as the runner-up. Jokic earned 69 first-place votes and was the only player selected by all 100 voters on their five-player ballots, while Gilgeous-Alexander was listed on 99 ballots and was the top choice on 24 of them.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, and Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard rounded out the top five in Bontemps’ latest poll, with Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, and Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell also appearing on double-digit ballots. Notably, while just four of 100 media members had Anthony Edwards in their top five, one made the Timberwolves guard their MVP choice.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Although Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN (Insider link) still feel as if the 2024 draft class is short on high-end talent, they believe it could end up being a relatively deep draft. Givony and Woo suggest that some teams will be able to find rotation players later in the first round or in the second round, even if there are no sure-fire stars at the top of the class.
  • After being traded from Philadelphia to Indiana and then waived by the Pacers, veteran swingman Furkan Korkmaz has turned down interest from Turkish club Besiktas for now and is hoping to remain in the NBA, according to a report from Eurohoops. Korkmaz didn’t play much for the Sixers the past two seasons, but is still just 26 years old and is a 36.1% three-point shooter over the past five years.
  • Former lottery pick Jahlil Okafor is on the move again, having recently signed with Puerto Rican team Capitanes de Arecibo, as Dario Skerletic of Sportando relays. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Okafor played in Spain and China earlier this season. He last played in the NBA with Detroit in 2020/21.
  • Grizzlies guard Vince Williams has been chosen to replace injured Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels in this Friday’s Rising Stars game at All-Star weekend, while Indiana Mad Ants guard Kyle Mangas will replace Sixers two-way player Kenneth Lofton Jr. in the G League Next Up game, according to a pair of announcements from the NBA and NBAGL.

Pelicans’ Dyson Daniels Out Indefinitely With Torn Meniscus

2:22pm: According to a press release from the Pelicans, Daniels has a torn lateral meniscus and is receiving additional evaluations “to determine appropriate treatment options,” with another update to come in the future.

1:55pm: Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels has sustained a torn meniscus in his left knee and will be out indefinitely, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (via Twitter).

The No. 8 pick of the 2022 draft, Daniels has been a rotation regular for New Orleans in his second NBA season, averaging 5.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 52 games, including 15 starts (21.9 minutes). He posted a .438/.291/.640 shooting line in those contests.

While the 20-year-old Australian isn’t a great offensive player at this point in his development, he’s excellent on the other end, frequently defending opposing teams’ top perimeter scorers. Daniels is among the league leaders in steals per game, Charania notes.

It’s a tough setback for Daniels and the Pelicans, who have dealt with numerous injuries to key players over the past few seasons. The former G League Ignite guard had appeared in every game during the 2023/24 season prior to the injury.

As Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets, Pelicans reserves like Naji Marshall, Jordan Hawkins and Jose Alvarado are candidates to receive more playing time with Daniels sidelined.

NBA Announces Player Pool For 2024 Rising Stars Event

The NBA has officially revealed the 11 rookies, 10 sophomores, and seven G League players who will take part in the Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend in Indianapolis next month.

The following players, as voted on by NBA coaching staffs, made the cut:



G League Players

As was the case last season, the Rising Stars event will consist of four teams and three games. The seven G League players will comprise one team, coached by former NBA forward Detlef Schrempf. The other 21 players will be drafted to three squads coached by former NBA and WNBA stars Pau Gasol, Jalen Rose, and Tamika Catchings.

The four teams will be split into two first-round matchups and the winners of those two games will face one another for the Rising Stars championship. The two semifinals will be played to a target score of 40 points, while the final will be played to a target score of 25 points.

All three contests will take place on Friday, February 16 as part of All-Star weekend’s opening night.

Pelicans Exercise 2024/25 Options On Dyson Daniels, Trey Murphy

The Pelicans have picked up their 2024/25 team options on Dyson Daniels and Trey Murphy, the team announced in a press release.

Neither player will be impacted in ’23/24, but their salaries for the following year are now locked in. Daniels will earn $6,059,520 in his third season, while Murphy will make $5,159,854 in his fourth.

A 6’8″ guard who was the No. 8 overall pick last year, Daniels averaged 3.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.3 APG on .418/.314/.650 shooting in 59 games as a rookie in ’22/23 (11 starts, 17.7 MPG). The 20-year-old Australian is known more for his strong defense than his offense at this stage of his career.

Murphy, meanwhile, will now be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer after having his fourth-year option exercised.

The No. 17 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Murphy emerged as a full-time starter for New Orleans in ’22/23. He averaged 14.5 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 31.0 MPG across 79 appearances (65 starts), posting an impressive shooting line of .484/.406/.905.

Unfortunately, Murphy is currently sidelined a torn meniscus in his left knee, which required surgery. He’s expected to miss 10-to-12 weeks, with a rough return timeline of mid-November.

The full list of ’24/25 rookie scale team option decisions can be found right here.

Pelicans Notes: Ingram, Daniels, Zion, Robbins

Without a true point guard in the starting lineup, the Pelicans are planning to lean on Brandon Ingram more as a primary play-maker in the 2023/24 season, Christian Clark of NOLA.com writes. Ingram had a career average of 3.8 assists per game prior to last season, when he averaged 5.8 APG across 45 appearances.

Clark writes that the Pelicans were impressed by Ingram’s growth as a play-maker last year. He didn’t have a triple-double in the first six seasons of his career, but wound up having two in an eight-day span in March. In the final 25 games of the season, he averaged 6.5 assists per night.

You can put the ball in his hands, and he makes great decisions,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “Finding his teammates. Then his ability to score. We want to explore that more this season.

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum isn’t a true point guard, but has been playing in that role for New Orleans since his arrival. Like Ingram, McCollum has had career-high assist numbers in New Orleans, averaging 5.8 APG as a Pelican. However, New Orleans missed the playoffs last season and could be looking to switch things up.

With [Ingram] having the ball in his hands and [Zion Williamson] running into a screen, what is the defense going to do?” Green said. “Vice versa. If [Williamson] has the ball, here comes [Ingram]. Here comes [McCollum]. We are playing around with different ways we can attack.

We have more on the Pelicans:

  • Heading into his second season in the league, Dyson Daniels wants to become one of the league’s best perimeter defenders, Clark writes in a separate story. Daniels was respectable in his rookie year in that regard, with Clark noting that he guarded some of the league’s premier ball-handlers at a high level at times. Clark adds that the 6’8″ guard is poised to become a major rotation piece, but the key for him to do so is to grow on the offensive end. “We know Dyson is solid defensively,” Green said. “Now, it’s just about creating an offensive identity. And being a solid basketball player for us. We know he can do it.
  • In an interview with Green posted to the Pelicans’ Twitter account, the coach said that the Pelicans will look to use Williamson at the center position more this season, as ESPN’s Andrew Lopez observes (Twitter link). The Pelicans averaged 1.16 points per chance when Williamson acted as the team’s screener last season, according to Lopez, which ranked top five among players with 150 screens or more.
  • Center Liam Robbins was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right fibula, according to a release from the team. There is no current timetable for his return. The Pelicans signed Robbins to an Exhibit 10 deal this offseason and, with one open two-way contract slot, it looked like the Vanderbilt product was primed to compete for one of those spots. Now, the injury makes it an uphill battle. However, if Robbins is waived, he’ll be eligible for a $75K bonus if he spends at least 60 days with New Orleans’ G League affiliate, the Birmingham Squadron.