NBA Draft Player Profile – Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters, Syracuse sophomore guard
12.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG 2.6 APG
NBA Draft stock: Lottery (No. 7 Golden State to No. 13 Phoenix)
NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon
Dion Waiters will most likely be a lottery pick in Thursday’s draft, which is impressive coming from a player that didn’t start a game this season at Syracuse.
Waiters shocked many by claiming he had a guarantee, shutting down all workouts and refusing to do more interviews during the NBA Draft Combine.
What Waiters showed off the bench for the Orange is what should be expected of him moving towards the next level. The 6-foot-4 Waiters was a spark off the bench for Cuse, being able to handle the ball and add more scoring production to the team.
Waiters is an explosive guard, who uses a wide frame to finish at the rim, making up for his height. The Philadelphia native also does a nice job running the pick-and-roll, which will help him make an impact offensively heading into the NBA. Syracuse ran a lot of pick-and-roll sets with Waiters in the game, resulting in drives or three’s.
His career and his impact on an NBA team will come from the bench, just like college. Waiters has the offensive talent to have the type of career like Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford – great scoring guards that made their money as sixth men, as opposed to starting guards.
His height also makes sense for Waiters to remain a key reserve. At 6-foot-4, it will be interesting to see how he handles taller two guards. Another knock on him is his defense. Even though he came away with just under two steals per game as a sophomore, he played in a 2-3 zone and had the luxury of taking chances.
He’s had well-documented problems, as Waiters almost transferred after his freshman season. You can take this two ways.
- As a red flag and pass on him
- Look at it as a guy, who returned after problems, slimmed down and had a vast improvement in his play
The Suns are in need of another score and some added youth, which Waiters could fill. The Raptors have made it clear he is in the mix, as Toronto holds the No. 8 pick.
Golden State also makes sense, while Portland with No. 6 and No. 11 could use a spark off the bench after the Jamal Crawford experiment failed.
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