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June 25, 2012

Syracuse's Dion Waiters this draft's mystery man

031512syracuse_jg10Syracuse’s Dion Waiters has become this NBA draft’s out-of-sight/out-of-mind guy.

Waiters, a 6-4, 215-pound shooting guard, basically dropped off the radar when he unexpectedly left Chicago during the pre-draft combine. He hadn’t completed all the physicals and weights-and-measures they do in Chicago and he cancelled individual workouts later.

It’s been widely reported he dropped off the grid because the Phoenix Suns have promised to draft him 13th. The Suns have long had a reputation as a player-friendly franchise in a great Sunbelt city. Apparently Waiters bought that pitch enough to stop marketing himself to other NBA teams.

That doesn’t mean he’ll end up a Sun. I think there’s a strong possibility teams like Portland (picks 6 and 11), Golden State (7) and Toronto (8) will consider drafting him without workouts. A scout I know believes Waiters could be the second-most talented player in this draft.

He’s got great upper-body strength, he’s explosive off the dribble and he makes big jump shots. I think the Dwyane Wade comparisons I’ve heard are overstated, but at minimum he’ll be a better, stronger version of Keyon Dooling.

I think the Suns realize sitting at No. 13 no longer gets them Waiters. Phoenix is looking into trading up, and it will be interesting to see just how far they’d have to move to get their man.

Posted by Observer Sports on June 25, 2012 at 08:32 AM | Permalink


I have a really hard time buying into this guy. Picking him 13 is one thing, but if he goes higher that just seems wrong. Especially if he's taken over lamb or rivers. Which he probably will be even at 13. Just seems like there are better players out there. and especially to draft him without workouts.

his agent is looking like a genius right now. teams that probably didn't even have the guy in the top 20 on their board are going to consider him top 10 now.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 25, 2012 9:58:04 AM

Waiters is legit. He can play either guard position in the League. He is very skilled at strongly taking the ball to the rim. Check out his fearless take at Sullinger during the NCAA tourney.

Posted by: Jon | Jun 25, 2012 10:09:31 AM

On top of all that...this kid can shoot the ball lights out from 15-20 ft. I think the bobcats should take him as the #2 pick. He's better all around player than Kidd-Gilchrist!

Posted by: Pooh | Jun 25, 2012 10:22:18 AM

Someone's a Syracuse grad :)

Posted by: Jason Warren | Jun 25, 2012 10:59:21 AM

Waiters is no joke..Out of all the players in the draft, offensively he has the best package. He has a strong body, he can hit the mid range, he can get to the rim, hesitation moves, cross-overs, the total package. He was Syracuse's best player in the tournament. I can see why some say D Wade in comparison. Im not sure if he is a better all around player than Kidd-Gilcrest but he is much better offensively. I think Barnes and Waiters are your best all-around offensive players whose games are more NBA suited than College. Hard to pass them both up..

Posted by: Ed | Jun 25, 2012 11:18:46 AM

The trade to make is with Portland or Houston. Since Portland has their sights on filling multiple positions (PG, SG, and C), I believe a trade with them would be improbable.
I would still aim for trading the #2 and Tyrus Thomas for #14, #16 and Kyle Lowery.

The Cleveland swap works, as the Bobcats would still have the opportunity to draft Center Festus Ezeli at #24.

Posted by: Kurly K smokes baloney | Jun 25, 2012 11:32:26 AM

Don't take a Power Forward!

Posted by: Kurly K smokes baloney | Jun 25, 2012 11:34:15 AM

If anyone knows him, it would be our new coach. Interesting to see if he is on the Bobcats radar if they trade down. If the team needs offense, you won't find anyone more explosive in this draft.

Posted by: Skip | Jun 25, 2012 12:10:06 PM


Posted by: TruCatFan | Jun 25, 2012 12:30:39 PM

Kurly K smokes more than baloney if he thinks Tyrus Thomas is a tradeable asset at this point. He's garbage that would get hurt getting tossed in the trash.

Posted by: I used to sit near Buzz | Jun 25, 2012 1:07:53 PM

"Kurly K smokes baloney" - I like trading Thomas and #2 for Houston's #14 and #16 - as long as we could draft Terrance Jones and Kendall Marshall.

Posted by: Dirt | Jun 25, 2012 1:28:35 PM

This guy is the truth. He can light it up. He is the ant-Barnes. In attack mode at all times. He would be a fan favorite if he ends up in a Bobcat uniform.

Posted by: Geno | Jun 25, 2012 2:10:03 PM

I always have a problem drafting a guy who didn't even start in college (see Marvin Williams).

Posted by: Cheeseburgerface | Jun 25, 2012 2:43:28 PM

I used to sit near Buzz... I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Lol. That was funny. Mean but funny . I think Thonas had some tummy ailment whc restricted his strength and weight .. At least that's what was reported. Notwithstanding, he shouldn't have jacked up all those shots .

Now you guys remember Johnny Flynn was talked up like this guy Waiters and isn't as revered now . Is there any comparison.

Posted by: Ironman | Jun 25, 2012 3:19:55 PM

Go Cuse!! I believe longer term, Waiters will be better than Barnes and even Rivers. Barnes and Rivers are overhyped UNC/Duke players, like many b4 them. UNC/Duke hasn't produced quality all-star players in over 2 decades, who's to say Barnes and Rivers are any different.
Just like I would stay away from Ohio St players (see Oden/Sullinger), i would only draft UNC/Duke players in the 15 and lower. Waiters didn't start, but he put in starter minutes (can defend and attack).

Posted by: El Toro | Jun 25, 2012 3:27:40 PM

^^^^ it's not a problem if its a freshman on a stacked national championship team as in williams case. Williams was drafted too high (as was brandan wright a few years later) but williams has been an nba starter for years.

Waiters was 6th man on a solid program and him not starting had more to do with scoop jardine being there before him than anything and he had great offensive numbers as a sophomore. Marvin williams is like 6-9 though. None elite 6-4 wing scorers come a dime a dozen. That's my problem. Rivers and lamb look every bit as promising and just as young and out produced at equally strong programs.

And on that note, barnes is 6-8 and put up 17 a game on a stacked team. We need a small forward. Not another combo guard. Now.....would I trade kemba walker straight up for waiters? Probably. But if you offered walker for the 11th pick and both rivers and waiters are there when the clock starts, I'm taking rivers.

We should really dangle walker out there in this draft with these guys going in the teens.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 25, 2012 3:29:13 PM

Yes I remember Johnny Flynn, even then i thought he was drafted way to high. No comparison but legit question. If you are in need of a scorer , to play the NBA game, Waiters is your best bet right now.

Posted by: Ed | Jun 25, 2012 3:30:01 PM

Hey Buzz...it's all about negotiations. Houston could use a Power Forward, they want the #2 pick and they are hungry to move up the draft board. The Rockets could buy out Thomas's contract and let him go free, if they so choose. He's a decent player on a pitiful team. Maybe a change in scenery would help.

Don't write off the Bobcats players as garbage, just because the team's lousy. It seems we had an awful lot of former players in the NBA's version of the Final Four just the past two seasons.

If Houston wants the pick badly enough, they'll deal.

Posted by: Kurly K smokes baloney | Jun 25, 2012 3:33:59 PM

Anyone that actually saw Waiters play knows how good he was. Came of the bench, but was clearly the best player on one of the top teams in college hoops.

Actually it is funny. He was the 6th man at Syracuse and would have been the best player in the ACC.

Posted by: Spencer | Jun 25, 2012 4:09:07 PM

I wouldn't mind taking a chandler parsons and sign & trade for dragic (which can't happen til july anyways) in a deal with houston but to move back from 2 to 14 or 16 is going to take a lot of pieces.

we don't NEED to get rid of tyrus thomas anymore. we have literally no payroll after this coming season. we can afford to eat 8 while our young'ns grow up. if the right deal came along, obviously that's great but thomas is young enough to redeem himself in this deal. and dunlap might just be the guy to get it out of him.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 25, 2012 6:05:25 PM

Kurly K -

Houston would not trade Lowry, 14 and 16 for the 2. Ever. No chance. Why would you think Houston would take on a Thomas' contract on top of including Lowry, 14 and 16?

Houston is trying to trade for 2 lottery picks, not 1.

Posted by: BigPimp | Jun 25, 2012 6:12:42 PM

Uhh...doesn't this team ALREADY have enough undersized, offensively-limited guards?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 25, 2012 8:49:05 PM

@ el Toro

You need to let Dion Waiters sack fall from your mouth. You're making wrinkles in it. Lay off the crackpipe while you're at it.
Waiters is a good player, but to suggest that UNC/Duke has put out nothing but garbage the last 20 years is beyond DUMB as ....

Posted by: MrMixx | Jun 25, 2012 10:06:19 PM

Hey Big Pimp, let Houston know that can kiss Cho's fanny as they get shut out in moving up for a trade. The number 2 pick is worth a heluva a lot more than what you're value deems it to be. If Houston wants the 2, it's worth a heluva lot more than just two lousy, measly, middle of the 1st round drat picks. What are your thinking? You think those 2 picks equal the number 2 pick? Man, go play Dominoes, because you're a terrible negotiator.
Lowery has made it clear he will NOT play for the Rockets next year. Of course, you knew that, right? Fine, we can't offer up Augustin until July 1, so we'll include DJ and consummate the trade at that time.

Posted by: Kurly K smokes baloney | Jun 25, 2012 10:29:01 PM

Bobcats just traded Maggette to Detroit for Ben Gordon.

Posted by: Jon | Jun 26, 2012 9:28:25 PM

love this deal. give up a little cap, get a younger player in gordon in exchange for maggette but get a 1st rounder that could be potentially be the #2 pick in the 2015 draft?

detroit isn't exactly in prime shape in their rebuild. i don't think this move helped either. they needed this draft pick more than they needed cap room. dumars might just have gotten lucky with the billups/wallace/wallace/prince/hamilton group because he has looked like an idiot outside of those 5 guys. rod higgins status.

don't want to read into things.....and I know they won't draft strictly for position.....but barnes? it would seem puzzling to go beal here with 4 shooting guards and walker on the roster, if they go robinson.....I would love to see them make a move for another pick to get quincy miller. before the lakers do. we have 9 guys under contract, 0 of whom play the 3.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 26, 2012 11:43:40 PM

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