I’ve been profiling potential Raptors Draft targets for the last couple of weeks here at RaptorBlog, and we’re down to our final three.
Up next is a guy that there’s been a lot of buzz around lately, Syracuse guard Dion Waiters.
Dion Waiters – Guard – 6’4, 221 lbs.
Dion Waiters played his college ball for a big program, but he’s managed to kind of creep up on most of us over the last few weeks. He clashed with Jim Boeheim and had some believing that he wasn’t exactly a team-first guy, but most scouting reports you’ll find say that Waiters appears to be one of those prospects that will have a much better pro career than collegiate one.
Waiters is a bit of a combo guard that while undersized (6’2.5 without shoes), doesn’t play small at all when he’s relentlessly attacking the basket and does the majority of his offensive damage going towards the rim. He also significantly improved his shooting in his sophomore season (47.6 FG%, 36.3 3PT%) and scored over 12 points per game in just over 24 minutes, though he does lack consistency in his jump-shot.
If he can find that shooting consistency and becomes a complete scorer, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t, Waiters has some serious upside, with some saying he’s the second best prospect in this Draft class (after Anthony Davis) and even going as far as comparing him to Dwyane Wade.
Questions remain about Dion’s NBA position (Is he too small to play shooting guard in the Association? Is he a good enough passer and does he make good enough decisions with the ball to be a point guard?) and his defensive effort, but his increasingly high ceiling has reportedly convinced at least one Lottery team to make him a Draft night promise (Waiters cancelled his pre-draft workouts earlier this month), and many still believe Toronto could be that team, regardless of Bryan Colangelo’s denials.
If I had to put money on it, I’d say Waiters is one of the two or three most likely outcomes for the Raptors on June 28.