NBA Rookie Draft Ranking and Fantasy Outlook: Dion Waiters
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Dion Waiters with the fourth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Waiters’ career stats at Syracuse:
71 Games, 9.7 points, 2.0 assists, 1.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 45.3 FG%, 75.3 FT%
Fantasy Advice: The Cavs were looking for a scorer to pair with Kyrie Irving in the backcourt and they most definitely wanted Bradley Beal, however Beal was long gone and Cleveland decided to take a gamble and go with Waiters over Harrison Barnes.
All I’ve seen from Cleveland fans is that ‘Waiters never started a game at Syracuse’. Whatever. The guy has a pretty broad skillset and can probably thrive in whatever role is chosen for him. He can drive to the basket or hit the three. He’s also pretty good with the ball in his hands as a playmaker and could easily end up in a Tyreke Evans type of role.
With Waiters, it’s difficult to guage his offensive contributions due to the fact that he only played 24.1 minutes per game, but if you convert his stats to a per/40 minute basis, the picture gets much clearer:
FG attempts per 40: Waiters = 16.03 / Beal = 12.41 / Ross = 17.28 / Rivers = 14.24 / Lamb = 14.34
Points per 40: Waiters = 20.97 / Beal = 17.24 / Ross = 21. 10 / Rivers = 18.67 / Lamb = 19.05
If you break some of the top offensive players of the draft down into a per/40 basis, Waiters can hold his own with the best of them. Cleveland probably isn’t going to do much this year and they have the luxury of putting Waiters into the starting lineup to build future chemistry with Irving. Combine this with the fact that the Cavs desperately need scoring and it looks like Waiters could possibly be a fantasy steal and may come at a cheaper draft price than Bradley Beal.