The Phoenix Suns like Dion Waiters.
If the rumors are true, they like him enough to promise the 6-foot-4, 221-pound combo guard they’ll select him over any other prospect at No. 13 if he’s available. Clearly, like several teams, the Suns are on the Dion Waiters bandwagon, and rightfully so.
Waiters can flat-out put the ball in the bucket. He’s explosive to the rim and can finish through contact while using either hand. He’s not the most consistent shooter, but he has NBA range and is a big-time shotmaker who wants the ball in his hands.
Long story short, Waiters will be able to score the ball at the NBA level and possibly even take over games at times. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim likened Waiters to a poor man’s Dwyane Wade and called him “one of the most talented guards I’ve ever had.”
“He’s probably as talented as anybody I’ve ever had. He can play the one or the two, he’s very physical, he can score, he can get his own shot,” Boeheim added. “I think he’s going to be a tremendous player at the next level.”
Waiters lit it up in his sophomore season at Syracuse. Although he played limited minutes off the bench, he scored 21.2 points per 40 minutes with the pace adjusted, good for 6th among shooting guards in the DraftExpress Top 100 prospects.
Boeheim said he had only “one or two bad games” and spoke glowingly about his prospects at the next level. Waiters figures to be a great fit in Phoenix. He can score in a variety of ways, has the potential to be a very good defender and would thrive in an up-tempo style.
Waiters would also bring a toughness and confidence the Suns haven’t had at the guard spot in quite some time. He’s a true competitor and would certainly bring the Philly mentality to the Valley.
But with all of that said, Waiters doesn’t come without a warning label. He butted heads with Boeheim throughout his freshman season and was in and out of the rotation because of it.
His confidence often borders pure arrogance and he rarely finds a shot he doesn’t like. Would Waiters fit in with the selfless, team-first culture that has been the-led Phoenix Suns for so long? There’s some validity to that concern.
From a basketball standpoint Waiters would bring a ton of talent to the Suns. He plays a lot like Rodney Stuckey in his ability to get to the rim and finish through contact. He’s always in attack mode and the Suns need that in the worst way.
But even with that said, is Waiters worth a promise? Is he that big of a steal at No. 13? While I like Waiters and his potential, to say he’s head and shoulders above fellow shooting guards Jeremy Lamb, Austin Rivers, and Terrence Ross would be false.