At last year’s NBA Draft, the G League Ignite had two players selected in the first round and a third player picked in round two. If the draft boards are correct, Ignite will surpass last year’s totals at Thursday night’s draft.
Dyson Daniels, Jaden Hardy, MarJon Beauchamp, Michael Foster, Jr. and Fanbo Zeng highlight Ignite NBA Draft prospects. Daniels, Hardy and Beauchamp are all expected to hear their names in the first round, while Foster, Jr. and Zeng are projected to go in Round 2.
Last year, the Ignite’s Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga went in Round 1, while Isaiah Todd was selected in the second round.
Daniels, a 6-6 point guard, averaged 12.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.0 steals in 15 games with the Ignite. Daniels who went from the NBA Global Academy to the G League, was the best defender for the Ignite and can play off the ball, too. “The leaps that Dyson has made with his game speak to his professional approach and his desire to get better every day,” said Chris Ebersole, the NBA senior director who oversees the elite development of the NBA Global Academy. “We’re so proud of Dyson and excited to see his hard work paying off.”
Hardy led the Ignite in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game. If the game was tight, the 6-4 two-guard was normally the player they called on to deliver. His overall shooting percentage from the floor (37.9%) and from 3-point range (31.7%) may scare some teams, but he connected on 81.3% from the free-throw line and is a good rebounder and passer.
At 21 years old, Beauchamp is the eldest member of the Ignite prospects. The 6-6 small forward is one of 20 players invited to sit with his family in the green room at the draft and his length and athleticism make him an interesting prospect on both sides of the floor. He is projected to go mid-to-late first round and had a very good season for the Ignite, averaging 15.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He also connected on 57% of his shots from the field.
Michael Foster Jr.
Foster, Jr., a 19-year-old 6-8 forward, is strong and physical. He has good athleticism and quickness for his size and recently cut weight. He has a solid jump shot and averaged 15.5 points, a team-high 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
On paper, the last Ignite draft prospect is Zeng, a 6-11 post player from China who missed most of last season because of injury. When he did play, he showed good shooting range and the ability to score in the paint. He is expected to be selected late in the second round.