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Old 05-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Draft Profile: Dion Waiters

Currently slotted to go #8 in the draft, some scouts are comparing him to a Tyreke Evans/Dwyane Wade type player. Not on my top list of prospects, but it's hard to be disappointed coming out of the draft with a that has those kinds of comparisons.

Strengths: Waiters' style of play reflects your prototypical combo-guard ... At 6'4 with a strong physical foundation, Waiters can play both on and off the ball throughout stretches of a game ... He's a scorer at heart, but his ability to create off the dribble results in open looks for teammates, which Waiters is capable of finding as a passer ... Always looking to get out in transition, he can change directions off the bounce, effectively absorb and deflect contact and finish at the rim ... Uses screens well off the dribble, recognizes when to hesitate and accelerate over the top ... He's an above average shooter with NBA range ... Comfortable shooting off the dribble inside the arch and via catch and release outside the arch ... Athleticism allows him to penetrate the heart of the defense, where he's illustrated a soft touch on his floater ... Defensively he has active hands and quick feet, and is a constant threat to steal the ball when defending a loose/careless handle ... Often comes out of nowhere for pokes and swipes as an off-ball defender ...

Weaknesses: He's clearly not a point guard, so you wonder how he'll perform offensively against athletic 6'6 NBA 2-guards ... Would see a huge rise in stock if he can learn to facilitate in the halfcourt as a quarterback ... Struggles at times creating good shots in the halfcourt ... With his athleticism and bounce off the dribble, paired with the ability to explosively elevate, Waiters should attack the rim more often (only attempts 2.5 free throws per game) ... Needs to improve as a free throw shooter in general (only 70%) ... Playing at the top of the zone, he hasn't had the experience defending prolific 1s or 2s in isolation...

Overall: Waiters definitely has a future in the NBA playing the same role he does in college ... He's a spark off the bench, can spell your point guard and spread the floor as a spot-up shooter ... In only 22 minutes of action, he racks up 13 points, 3 assists, 2.3 steals on an impressive 52% shooting ... With Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph graduating, Waiters will have the chance to maximize his value as a junior, with late lottery not an unrealistic goal/landing range

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