Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 NBA Draft Prospects: Dion Waiters

Waiters will add instant energy to any team that drafts him.
G - Dion Waiters - Syracuse - Sophomore
6-4 215 Life Center Academy/ Philadelphia, PA (12/1/1991)

Breakdown: The Orange were ranked in the top five for most of the 2011-12 season and most of their scoring punch was delivered by Waiters. The sophomore from Philly averaged 12.6 points per game in only 24 minutes per game coming off the bench and was effective from 3-point range, connecting on 36-percent of his attempts. Waiters showed great improvement in scoring from his freshman year, where he averaged 6.6 ppg, and raised his field goal percentage from 41-percent to 47-percent. He was also a solid defender in Jim Boeheim's matchup zone and averaged 1.8 steals per game last year.

NBA Skill-Set: Waiters body is NBA ready at 6-4 and 215-pounds with room to add more muscle. His best attribute in college was his Dwyane Wade-like explosion to the basket driving off screens and ability to finish in traffic with highlight reel worthy dunks. Waiters has a solid jumper and uses above-average ballhandling skills to create seperation from defenders to get his shot off. His frame will allow him to force the issue off the dribble and create fouls driving to the basket in isolation situations. He will need to work on decision making in pick-and-roll situations as that really wasn't his role in the Syracuse offense. The most intriguing quality that NBA GMs will like about Waiters is that he came off the bench for all 71 games he played for the Orange, so he should have no discomfort transitioning to a substitute role.

NBA Player could-be-like: James Harden. The physique, athleticism, and bulldoggedness are already there for Waiters. He will have to continue to work on his shooting so he can be more consistent with his percentages from 3-point and the foul line especially. And perhaps he could work on growing a long beard . . . it's really a Philly style anyway.

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