During these tough economic times, Dyson Daniels’ stock is one of the few rising.
The 6-foot-8 Australian point guard entered the NBA Draft Combine last month as a sure bet to be available when the Knicks pick at No. 11.
But the 19-year-old G-League Ignite do-everything defender impressed in Chicago. His Pro Day was electric and he measured in at 6-7 ¹/₂ without shoes. He just may be out of reach for the Knicks — similar to when Chris Duarte’s stock soared last draft.
Wearing a pink sweatshirt after a group workout with the Knicks on Monday, Daniels doesn’t want to get caught up in where he’ll land.
“I don’t pay too much attention to the stocks rising, falling,” Daniels said. “At the end of the day it’s the team who chooses you, not the media. So I just go out there and play my game. If I’m going to rise, I’m going to rise. If I’m going to fall, I’m going to fall. But I’m going to give it my best shot.
When it’s all said and done, he’ll have worked out with five clubs ahead of the Knicks in Portland (7), Indiana (6), Detroit (5), Washington (10) San Antonio (9) and New Orleans (8 ).
“I am just enjoying my journey,” Daniels said. “As a kid I always wanted to play in the NBA, I’m just soaking in every moment. Going in front of all of those scouts, it’s a great place to be.”
The teenager whose American father played professionally in Australia checks a lot of boxes for the Knicks. He’s an elite defender with a high basketball IQ and smart passer.
G-League Ignite coach Jason Hart played him at point guard during this season because he feels he can make the most impact there, especially for the Knicks.
After a season in which the Kemba Walker-Derrick Rose tandem became an unmitigated disaster, Knicks president Leon Rose is desperate for a point guard.
“I think growing up I’ve been a genuine point guard, just the way I make plays, the way I see the floor, my IQ, and my size as well,” Daniels said. “So I think I can definitely play the position and add some value on the defensive end too. So if that’s the position they want me to play, I’m there for it.
Additionally, Daniels regards himself as a defensive savant with his quick hands, comparing himself to Mikal Bridges and Alex Caruso.
“Defense is my strength,” Daniels said. “I’m going to bring it every game. I’m going to go out there and guard the best players. That’s my most NBA-ready skill. New York, you have a very defensive-oriented team and Coach Thibs is a great coach. If that’s my role on this team if I get selected, I’m going to play that role for sure.”
Monday’s six-man workout featured three lottery picks in Ohio State sharpshooter Malaki Branham and Kentucky point guard TyTy Washington. It’s rare for three lottery picks to be grouped into the same scrimmage/workout.
“I think it went well,” Daniels said. “I showed everything I can do. These workouts are short and quick [one-plus hours]. They get a glimpse of what you can do. I think I showed a little bit of everything I can do and the versatility.”
The Knicks interviewed Daniels and Branham in Chicago, but not Washington. That could be a clue to the pecking order.
After growing up in Bendigo in rural Australia, Daniels’ background is satisfyingly diverse, having attended high school at the NBA Global Academy, and playing pro ball with much older guys in Germany. He turned down a handful of mid-major college offers to go the G-League Ignite route that prepares prospects for the pros without the classes.
He’s the shiny new thing teams are seeking — being able to guard multiple positions. The Celtics have made that in vogue.
“It’s the versatility,” Daniels said. “I can play 1 through 4. I can handle the ball, I can pass the ball, so I think my main strength is at the PG position but I can adapt to any situation and play off the ball as well. I think that’s why my shot has come a long way.”
It all sounds perfect except he’s not a natural 3-point shooter (30.3 percent) and will have to work on that. NBA scouts hope he improves in that area more than his countryman Ben Simmons, now with the Nets, did.
“He doesn’t have a messed-up form,” Hart told The Post in Chicago. “He just needs reps.”
According to source, Hart would like to see Daniels wind up in New York, figuring it would be strong publicity for the Ignite. The question is whether he falls out of the top 10.