2012 NBA Draft Winners And Losers: Waiters Wins, Knicks And Nets Lose

Waiters fills Cavaliers' need for a player with the ability to score

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NBA Draft: The New York Knicks' Rousing History With International Picks

The Knicks' selection of Kostas Papanikolaou in Thursday's NBA Draft is the team's most recent foray into international basketball on draft night. Here's a history.

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2012 NBA Draft Analysis: Dion Waiters A Winner, New York Knicks And Brooklyn Nets Are Losers

The 2012 NBA Draft is history. Now, the judging and grading begins. With that in mind let's look at the regional winners and losers from Thursday, including the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and players from regional colleges.

Winners

Dion Waiters -- From not starting at Syracuse University to being picked fourth overall in the draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. That's a huge rise for a player who the Cavs hope will be a dynamic scorer they can pair with point guard Kyrie Irving to make an exciting young backcourt Cleveland can rebuild around.

Fab Melo -- The 7-foot center from Syracuse was taken 22nd overall by the Boston Celtics, a perfect landing spot for the former Orange big man. Melo is a defensive presence and could develop into a solid rebounder, and those are skills Boston desperately needs. Melo's offensive game is mostly non-existent right now, but he has landed with a terrific organization and should get minutes because of his defense while his offense -- hopefully -- develops.

Kris Joseph --The 6-foot-7 small forward from Syracuse seemed like a player on the bubble as to whether or not he would be drafted.Joseph ended up joining Melo in Boston when the Celtics nabbed him in the second round, 51st overall. That's a win for Joseph.

Andrew Nicholson -- The 6-foot-9 power forward with the well-rounded game worked his way into being the 19th overall selection in the draft, landing with the Orlando Magic. Good for him.


Related: SBNation.com Grades The Draft

Losers

Scott Machado -- The Iona guard led the nation in assists, and there was a good deal of buzz around him leading up to the draft. Yet, his name was never called Thursday night. Still, Machado will now get to choose a team to try out for as a free agent, so things might not be all bad. Yet, the 'undrafted player' label will make it tougher for him to make a team.

New York Knicks -- The Knicks had only the 48th pick, and used it on a European player who isn't likely to play in the NBA for at least a couple of years. Kostas Popanikolaou, a small forward from Greece, has a cool name. The Knicks, though, won't get help from him soon -- if they ever do.

Brooklyn Nets -- The Nets did a nice job collecting players at the end of the second round, throwing around a little money to make two trades. They ended up getting three players in the second round. Unless the Nets, however, were able to somehow deal their way into the lottery portion of the draft they were destined to be losers here. After trading a pick to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Gerald Wllace, a pick that ended up No. 6 overall, nothing they could accomplish in the second round could make up for not having a lottery pick.

On The Fence

Moe Harkless -- The former St. John's star went 15th overall to the Philadelphia 76ers. Right now I can't decide if this is good or bad for the 6-foot-8 small forward. Problem is the 76ers already have a stud small forward in Andre Iguodala. If Iguodala is there Harkless has no spot. There is, however, speculation that Philadelphia might trade Iguodala. If they do that you can probably push Harkless to the winners category. If they don't, he ends up as a loser.

Fashion Police

Below, the important stuff. Amy K. Nelson of SB Nation YouTube sits down with Walt 'Clyde' Frazier to discuss draft night fashion winners and losers.

2012 NBA Draft: Draft Fashion with Clyde Frazier (via sbnation)

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2012 NBA Draft: Kris Joseph Of SU Selected 51st Overall By Boston Celtics

Kris Joseph, formerly of Syracuse University, was selected 51st overall by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Joseph, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward, averaged 13.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Orange last season. He will join former Syracuse teammate Fab Melo, selected 22nd overall in the first round by Boston.

At one time the 23-year-old senior was considered a possible first-round pick.There are apparently, though, questions about his age and consistency.

NBA.com says Joseph has the "size and explosiveness needed to play at the next level." From his NBA.com scouting profile, here are his strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths:

  • Great athlete
  • Explosive finisher
  • Well-rounded game
  • Improved his 3-point shooting

Weaknesses:

  • Needs to be consistently aggressive
  • Not a great rebounder

SI.com said:

"Joseph showed flashes during the season of why some scouts felt he had first-round potential, but those projections have since faded."

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2012 NBA Draft: Fab Melo Selected 22nd Overall By Boston Celtics

Fab Melo, the former Syracuse University center, was selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night by the Boston Celtics. Melo, a 7-foot, 274-pound sophomore, was the 22nd overall selection.

The Celtics, quite obviously, were looking to improve their frontcourt. Using the 21st pick overall Boston took Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger one selection prior to tabbing Melo.

SI.com offered this instant analysis:

"Celtics president Danny Ainge went for the risk pick with Sullinger, and now he takes the big man whose value is easy to assess. Melo is huge, and he defends the rim. If he develops an offensive game, that will be a bonus. But he's the sort of paint-clogging big man who would come in handy for any team."

Melo improved dramatically in his sophomore season with the Orange. After playing just 9.9 minutes per game and averaging 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game as a freshman, Melo played 25.4 minutes per game last season, scoring 7.8 points per game, grabbing 5.8 rebounds and blocking an average of 2.9 shots per game.

NBA.com says "Big man is a project for sure, but has considerable payoff."

Strengths:

  • Huge and physical
  • Good shot blocker
  • Can shoot a face-up jump shot

Weaknesses:

  • Could be a better rebounder
  • Still learning the game
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2012 NBA Draft: Andrew Nicholson Selected 19th By Orlando Magic

Andrew Nicholson of St. Bonaventure University, the tiny Western New York school that produced NBA great Bob Lanier, was selected 19th overall by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Nicholson, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward who averaged 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and two blocks per game for the Bonnies.

SI.com says this in an instant analysis of the pick:

"Whether or not Dwight Howard remains in Orlando, Nicholson should boost the Magic's frontcourt. He's a safe pick who can score from inside and out as well as rebound. Nicholson led the Bonnies to their first NCAA tournament in 12 years."

St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt called Nicholson "a special talent."

Here is Richmond coach Kevin McGeehan on Nicholson:

"He's really terrific. He's so, so good in the post. He can score every which way. And if you worry about all the damage he can do to you in the post, they'll run a play outside the foul line, and he can make that shot every time. He's also really improved as a 3-point shooter. Tough, tough kid to guard."

SI.com says:

"Nicholson is a versatile forward who can step out and make a 3-pointer, as he shot 23 of 53 (43.4 percent) from beyond the arc as a senior after not taking a 3 in his first two seasons and making six of 23 attempts as a junior. One knock on Nicholson is his lack of upper-body strength and bulk, which was good enough to get him by in the A-10 but may prevent him from planting himself in the lane in the NBA."

Here are Nicholson's strengths and weakness from his NBA.com prospect profile:

Strengths:

  • 7-foot-4 wingspan
  • Good shot blocker
  • Good rebounder
  • Variety of post moves
  • Has face-up jump shot past the 3-point line

Weaknesses:

  • Scouts want to see him make corner 3-pointer consistently
  • Has to continue to get stronger
  • Can cut down on turnovers
  • Some scouts have questioned the consistency of his intensity level
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2012 NBA Draft: Moe Harkless Selected 15th Overall By Philadelphia 76ers

Moe Harkless, who left St. John's University for the NBA after his freshman season, was selected 15th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday.

Harkless, a 6-foot-8, 208-pound small forward, averaged 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game for St. John's in the 2011-2012 season. The 76ers entered the draft looking for front court help.


Reaction To The Selection -- Rumble In The Garden

In an instant analysis, SI.com voiced approval of the selection:

"I love this pick by Philadelphia. Harkless was a front-office favorite in recent weeks, and it's his combination of scoring ability, rebounding and athleticism that has executives thinking he is going to be "really, really good," as one such source said. The 76ers might have made it easier to trade veteran small forward Andre Iguodala with Harkless as an option for coach Doug Collins."

SI.com summarized Harkless this way in its player profile:

"Harkless is a smooth player with great athleticism and length, possessing a quick first step which enables him to beat his defender and get to the rim. Shooting from the perimeter, though, is an area he needs to work on. Harkless only made 17 of 79 3-point attempts (21.5 percent) and often struggles to create his own shot or make baskets when pulling up off the dribble. He is a solid rebounder due to his ability to attack the rim but is slight and may need to bulk up in order to bang down low with the bigger bodies in the NBA - especially if he is going to be used at one of the forward positions."

Here, from NBA.com's prospect profile, are Harkless' strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths:

  • Great athlete
  • Length
  • Good rebounder
  • Good shot blocker
  • Great in the open court
  • Attacks the rim
  • Gets in the passing lanes for steals

Weaknesses:

  • Has to get bigger and stronger
  • Perimeter shot has to become more consistent
  • Ball handling can use tightening
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2012 NBA Draft: Dion Waiters Selected No. 4 Overall By Cleveland Cavaliers

Dion Waiters, the former Syracuse University guard, was selected fourth overall Thursday by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Waiters, 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, had been expected to be selected anywhere from fourth overall to 13th.

The fourth pick is a stunningly early selection for Waiters, who did not start for the Orange last season. Waiters, though, fills a need for Cleveland, which was looking for a scorer to pair with last year's top pick, point guard Kyrie Irving. Waiters averaged 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

SI.com offered this instant analysis:

"The Cavs were as tough to gauge as any team in recent weeks, but they pull off an early shocker here by taking the talented combo guard who came off the bench for Syracuse. They were believed to be high on Harrison Barnes early, and then Bradley Beal became the flavor of the week. Waiters' appeal is in the fact that he is a tough, fearless scorer who was far more efficient than many of his fellow guards. The Warriors are sure to be disappointed because they wanted Waiters at No. 7."

NBA.com's prospect profile says "Waiters is known as a guy who can put points on the board in a hurry." Here is more from Waiters' NBA.com prospect profile:

Strengths:

  • Great athlete
  • Attacks the rim
  • Instant offense
  • Can handle the ball
  • Good passer

Weaknesses:

  • Doesn't have ideal size
  • Jump shot has to get more consistent
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2012 NBA Draft: Is Fab Melo Better Than Andre Drummond?

For years, NBA franchises all worked under the same philosophy when it came to the NBA Draft -- if a center is there and you need one, take'm. However, for the past four seasons there's been a different trend as only one true center -- UConn's Hasheem Thabeet -- has been taken in the top 5.

(Today's recent trend followed a four-year span where Dwight Howard (2004), Andrew Bogut ('05) and Greg Oden ('07) were all selected No. 1 overall, respectively.)

However, the '12 NBA Draft will switch back to the historical norm a bit, as collegiate center Anthony Davis -- who will more than likely be a forward at the professional level -- will be the No. 1 overall selection by the New Orleans Hornets. From there, two more top-center prospects, UConn's Andre Drummond and Syracuse's Fab Melo, will try to prove their worth when they become first-round selections.

Overall, projections have Drummond going ahead of Melo, however, we believe that would be a huge mistake by a NBA GM. Melo isn't just the next Thabeet, instead, we think he's going to be a very productive pro for a long time.

Fab Melo 2012 NBA Draft Video (via TheMikeSchmitz)

What They've Said

"Fab did a fantastic job, he put in the time, energy and effort in the last offseason," Ross said. "He dropped 35 pounds, cut his body fat from 14 to 8 percent. He became much more agile and more mobile and that really paid off. I think his shot-blocking will translate. Offensively, I think most NBA teams think he is a work in progress, but they will be surprised by his ability to shoot the 12- to 15-foot jumper," -- Melo's high school head coach Adam Ross to Miami Herald, June 27.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/27/2871441/former-sagemont-center-fab-melo.html#storylink=cpy

What They Are Projecting (Mock Drafts):

ESPN.com's Chad Ford: No. 24 to Cleveland Cavaliers.
NBADraft.net: No. 25 to Memphis Grizzles.
CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman: No. 21 to Boston Celtics.
CBSSports.com's Matt Moore: No. 26 to Indiana Pacers.
DraftExpress.com: No. 24, Cavaliers.

Nugget:

If picked in the first round, Melo will be the first Syracuse center taken in the first round since Ethan Thomas in 2002. Thomas went on to play nine years in the NBA.

What We Think:

Over the course of the 2011-12 season, Melo and Drummond matched-up a few times and each of those times it was apparent about which player was not only more important to their team's success but a better player overall -- Melo.

The Brazilian was not only more of a physical presence inside but held the mental edge over his counterpart.

Now, we understand head-to-head match-ups at the college level doesn't lead to professional success and Drummond showed a lot of promise in a Feb. 25 performance (17 points and 14 rebounds) at Syracuse. However, defensively Melo' ahead of Drummond as he anchored the 2-3 zone and, by the end of the season, was the most important piece in SU's lineup.

The knocks on Melo will be two-fold, as many front office brass will be scared away from his academic issues that forced the 7-footer to miss parts of the regular season and all of the NCAA Tournament. Thus, making a risky pick.

Melo will be also criticized for his mediocre rebounding numbers, which could be attributed to playing a 2-3 zone defense, and his lack of inside moves on the offensive end. Many will say, Drummond has much more potential on offense than Melo does -- we will agree.

However, ask Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim about Melo's work ethic, personality and abilities, and he will tell you he's worth the risk -- if there really is any.

Melo was able to improve leaps-and-bounds from his freshmen year -- which basically featured him being one of the biggest McDonald All-American busts in recent history -- to sophomore season -- which he won the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Not only is Melo a better defensive threat (right now) than Drummond, but offensively Melo has shown that he's aggressive with the ball when needed, does have a mid-range shot which will develop and can make free throws.

Don't get us wrong, Drummond had a lot of upside as he's more of a "basketball athlete" than Melo -- don't forget Melo has been playing hoops for just a few years, so he looks a bit awkward out there at times, while Drummond has been doing this his whole life -- and is a few years younger -- Melo improved drastically from year one of college to year two.

All-in-all, however, we're betting on Melo to be the better prospect for all the reasons listed above.

For more on Syracuse basketball draft prospects, make sure to check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream or the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.

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2012 NBA Draft: Time, TV Schedule, Draft Order, Online Streaming

A new crop of players will officially make the jump to professional basketball when the 2012 NBA Draft gets underway on Thursday night. For all the rumors and speculation about how the draft will unfold, there has been no suspense as to the New Orleans Hornets will take with the first overall pick. New Orleans will go with Kentucky's Anthony Davis, a consensus top pick. The selections after that are harder to predict and are likely to fluctuate as trades happen.

The draft starts at 7 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, June 28, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Both rounds will be broadcast on ESPN. Additional coverage starts at 5:30 p.m. on NBA TV. The event will be streamed online at ESPN3.

Here is the order of the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft:

  1. New Orleans Hornets
  2. Charlotte Bobcats
  3. Washington Wizards
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers
  5. Sacramento Kings
  6. Portland Trail Blazers
  7. Golden State Warriors
  8. Toronto Raptors
  9. Detroit Pistons
  10. New Orleans Hornets
  11. Portland Trail Blazers
  12. Milwaukee Bucks
  13. Phoenix Suns
  14. Houston Rockets
  15. Philadelphia 76ers
  16. Houston Rockets
  17. Dallas Mavericks
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves
  19. Orlando Magic
  20. Denver Nuggets
  21. Boston Celtics
  22. Boston Celtics
  23. Atlanta Hawks
  24. Cleveland Cavaliers
  25. Memphis Grizzlies
  26. Indiana Pacers
  27. Miami Heat
  28. Oklahoma City Thunder
  29. Chicago Bulls
  30. Golden State Warriors

Get news, analysis and updates from SB Nation New York in this StoryStream. For more on the Knicks, check out Posting and Toasting. For Nets coverage, visit Nets Daily. For more news and analysis from around the league, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

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2012 NBA Draft: Will Moe Harkless Be A One-And-Done Boom Or Bust?

One-and-done: a strategy or career decision used by a NBA Draft prospect who declares for the draft after playing just one year of collegiate basketball (because of an age restriction set by the NBA).

For now and until his basketball career ends, that term will be used to describe former St. John's University forward Moe Harkless. However, whether the descriptor is used in a positive or negative way, for the rest of Harkless' life, is only known by the future.

For some -- like Carmelo Anthony, who helped lead Syracuse University to its first and only National Championship in 2003 before leaving to become a top 3 NBA pick, Chris Bosh (a seven-time All-Star and newly crowned NBA Champion), Derrick Rose ('11 MVP) and Kevin Durant (back-to-back NBA scoring champion) -- the term is used as a special asterisk. Not only does it say they were so good they didn't need any more years of development at the collegiate level, but also it says they were of a special breed that defied the odds.

However, for most others -- like former St. John's player Omar Cook or Syracuse's Donte Greene, who's careers could have been drastically different if they were patient and develop at the collegiate level -- the term one-and-done gives ammunition to so-called NBA and college hoops experts who'd like to see the NBA rule be extended or go away completely.

Harkless, the 6-foot-8, 207-pound prospect who earned the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year after averaging 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, is hoping his seemingly limitless potential can help him defy the odds and join the ranks of those current NBA stars.

Moe Harkless 2012 NBA Draft Video (via TheMikeSchmitz)

What They've Said

"Each workout Moe Harkless competes in helps bridge the imagination gap between "he's got potential" and "we want to use our pick and invest money to develop him". Bridging that gap is the key to guaranteed money. Harkless made plays on the college level, but as a projected wing in the NBA, he needs to prove that he can shoot well enough to play the position," --- SB Nation's Rumble In The Garden, May 31.

'With considerable size (6-9), supreme length and jumping ability, Moe Harkless has all the physical tools that teams covet, and at only 19 years of age is an ocean of untapped potential. Harkless is in the Paul George/Rudy Gay/Kawhi Leonard/Ariza mold—a freakishly athletic wing who can defend the 2 and 3. He is built like a small forward, has a little shooting guard in him, and has traits of a power forward, the position he played on an undermanned St. John’s team this past season," -- Eldon Khorshidi, SLAM Magazine (June 23).

What They Are Projecting (Mock Drafts):

ESPN.com's Chad Ford: No. 16 to Houston Rockets
NBADraft.net: No. 16, Rockets.
CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman: No. 18 to Orlando Magic.
CBSSports.com's Matt Moore: Not in first round.
DraftExpress.com: No. 16, Rockets.

Nugget:

If Harkless goes in the first round of the draft, he will become the first Red Storm player selected in the first round since Erick Barkley in '01 (No. 28 to Portland Trail Blazers).

What We Think:

If there's one thing that NBA scouts love, its a player who can score and help their team put points on the scoreboard. Despite having a group of very young players around him, and basically being the only option, Harkless did just that at St. John's.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Moe Harkless 32 36.1 6.0 13.3 45.2 0.5 2.5 21.5 2.9 4.3 67.6 2.8 5.9 8.6 1.5 2.5 1.6 1.4 2.3 15.5

For us, Harkless' offensive game reminded us a lot of former Providence guard Marshon Brooks, who had a very good rookie season with the Brooklyn Nets. However, Brooks spent four seasons with the Friars and slowly developed into a offensive juggernaut. The same can't be said about Harkless, who was very streaky in his freshman season.

At times, Harkless played at an All-American level netting 25-30 points per game and collecting double-digit totals in rebounding. Other times, he would disappear -- sometimes against very beatable opponents.

Over the course of the 2011-12 season, we saw a lot of potential with Harkless which is probably why many NBA mock drafts have him going in the first round. But, if you're spending a first-round selection on a guy you'd probably want him to either: develop over a few years or want him to play right away.

Harkless probably won't play right away, so unless he finds himself with a franchise stocked with veteran talent then we'd stay away from him.

For more on Moe Harkless and the NBA Draft, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For everything on St. John's basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Rumble In The Garden.

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2012 NBA Draft: Can A Humble-And-Hungry Attitude Propel Dion Waiters To NBA Stardom?

A year ago, at about this time, nobody would have predicted former Syracuse guard Dion Waiters as a 2012 NBA Draft lottery pick. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound prospect was coming off a frustrating freshman season which ended with he and legendary head coach Jim Boeheim pitted against each other.

Boeheim, the headman at SU for 36 seasons, was basically at his the end of his rope with the cocky, yet, undecorated 19-year-old and -- as the story goes -- basically gave the youngster a choice: change your ways or transfer, I don't care either way.

Waiters, a product of the entitlement generation, first thought about taking the second option -- to move on and find a coach that wasn't such a headache. However, after talking with his mother -- who basically told her talented son she didn't raise a quitter -- Waiters stayed, took responsibility for his immature actions and found a fire to prove his doubters wrong.

The result was a brand-new motto, "humble and hungry", which forced Boeheim to play his "sixth-best player" for 24.1 minutes per game and eventually admit the best player during his most successful regular season in program history was, indeed, Waiters.

When ask about whether or not the sophomore was ready for professional basketball, almost a year after asking the same player to change or leave, the outspoken Boeheim replied, "He's more ready for the NBA than any other guard I've ever had."

Dion Waiters Scouting Video - NBA Draft Insider (via nbadraftinsider)

The highlights speak for themselves. Waiters' potential is seemingly limitless, as he had probably the quickest first step in all of college basketball last season, a solid jump-shot, which showcased a NBA-level step-back jumper, and the fire and confidence of somebody who knows they can be better than everybody else.

Waiters' Syracuse career didn't end with an NCAA Championship or a trip to the Final Four -- the Orange were knocked out in the Elite 8 by the Ohio State Buckeyes -- but it ended well enough that it was very clear the Philadelphia native wasn't coming back to the 'Cuse for another season.

In the end, Waiters will be remembered for his thunderous fast-break dunks, transition spin moves (shown below) and a cockiness, humbled by confidence, not seen since Carmelo Anthony.

Dion Waiters (via srhatch)

There seems to be no limits of where Waiters' offensive game can go, but his NBA career will be determined by his ability to play point guard -- he doesn't move very well without the ball -- and improve his jump shot.

Regardless of Waiters' future as a pro, nobody would have thought he'd be here so fast. Well, everyone besides Dion Waiters.

What They Are Saying

"In one of the ever-so-famous Draft Day dramas, it appears that Waiters is the most highly touted player in the Draft to receive a promise. He shut down all workouts and did not even interview with teams at the NBA Draft Combine in early June in Chicago. Since then, mum’s been the word on Waiters," -- Rodger Bohn of SLAM Magazine.

What They Are Projecting (Mock Drafts):

SB Nation's Tom Ziller: No. 13 to Phoenix Suns.
ESPN.com's Chad Ford: No. 8 to Toronto Raptors
NBADraft.net: No. 8 to Raptors.
CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman: No. 7 to Golden State Warriors.
CBSSports.com's Matt Moore: No. 7 to Warriors.
DraftExpress.com: No. 7 to Warriors.

Nugget:

If Waiters goes in the NBA Draft Lottery, he will become the third Syracuse player to go in the top 14 since Carmelo Anthony in '03.

What We Think:

Waiters was a very pleasant surprise during the 2011-12 season, and I think the trend will continue during his professional career. What will separate Waiters from other draft prospects such as Perry Jones III or Jeremy Lamb is his tenacity and fire.

If given one more year at Syracuse, Waiters could have vaulted himself into the top 3, as he could have been the best guard prospect in the '13 Draft. However, since Waiters was never given a chance to start and be "the man" at Syracuse it hurt his pre-draft stock a bit.

Now, NBA scouts and front office brass are seeing what Orange fans saw all season long -- a potential NBA All-Star.

With that said, the last two SU players to go in the Draft Lottery -- Wesley Johnson (No. 4 to Minnesota in '10) and Jonny Flynn (No. 6 to Minnesota in '09) -- haven't lived up to their selection status. And if history of the lottery has provide anything, it's that no player is a sure thing.

But if we were forced to bet on a player to break the recent disappointing trend of Syracuse professional players, we're not betting against Dion Waiters.

For more on Syracuse basketball draft prospects, make sure to check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream or the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. Meanwhile, for everything on the Knicks visit Posting And Toasting.

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NBA Draft 2012: Plenty Of New York Talent Available On Thursday

Although the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets don't have a first-round pick, there is plenty of local talent that will be selected in the NBA draft. At least eight New York-area players figure to have their name called on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The best of those players is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who went to school at St. Patrick High School in New Jersey.

Kidd-Gilchrist won an NCAA national championship with the Wildcats in April, and finished the season averaging 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. "Great motor, physical defender, he's got a high basketball IQ and he's the youngest player in the draft," NBA college scouting director Ryan Blake said of the 18-year-old. "He's going to come in and he'll earn minutes defensively from his maturity."

Also included in the list of players were St. John's forward Moe Harkless, Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor, Kentucky guard Doron Lamb, Norfolk State power forward Kyle O'Quinn, West Virginia forward Kevin Jones, Iona guard Scott Machado and Xavier guard Tu Holloway.

For more on these teams, visit Knicks blog Posting and Toasting and Nets blog NetsDaily.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Chad Ford Projects Andrew Nicholson, Moe Harkless To Boston Celtics

In his latest 2012 NBA Mock Draft, ESPN analyst Chad Ford projects that two stars who played their college basketball in the state of New York will be selected by the Boston Celtics.

Ford projects that the Celtics will use the 21st and 22nd picks to choose Andrew Nicholson of St. Bonaventure and Moe Harkless of St. John's, respectively.

Nicholson, a 6-foot-10, 234-pound forward, finished his college career by leading St. Bonaventure into the NCAA tournament. He averaged 18.5 points on 57.1 percent shooting to go along with 8.4 rebounds as a senior. Though his athleticism isn't elite, his skill level as a stretch forward intrigues scouts.

Harkless, a 6-foot-9 small forward, won the Big East's Rookie of the Year award after averaging 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds during his lone season at St. John's. The 19-year-old is still raw and his jump shot needs plenty of work, but he has a prototypical build for an NBA wing.

For more 2012 NBA Draft speculation and analysis, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Moe Harkless Projected To Orlando Magic

In Yahoo! Sports latest 2012 NBA Mock Draft, draft expert Jonathan Givony projects former St. John's wing Moe Harkless to be selected with the 19th pick by the Orlando Magic.

The 6-foot-8, 208-pounder averaged 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds this past season to become the Big East Rookie of the Year. Though scouts consider him a work in progress, he has a large upside thanks to his impressive combination of size and athleticism.

Writes Givony:

Orlando has no coach and no general manager at the moment, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly which direction the team might head in at this early stage. The evolution of Dwight Howard's status with the team will surely play a major role in future plans. It's safe to say that small forward was the weakest position on the Magic last season, and Moe Harkless could very well be deemed the most talented prospect on the board here, even if he'll need time to contribute.

For more 2012 NBA Draft speculation and analysis, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Syracuse's Dion Waiters Projected To Dallas Mavericks

In Yahoo! Sports latest 2012 NBA Mock Draft, draft expert Jonathan Givony projects that Syracuse guard Dion Waiters will be selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 17th pick.

Waiters was named the Big East Conference's Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 12.6 points and 1.8 steals in 24.1 minutes per game while leading the Orange into the Elite Eight.


Related: 2012 NBA Mock Draft: Hornets Land Anthony Davis, Wizards Are Keystone

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder has been compared to Dwyane Wade for his explosive scoring potential. One NBA general manager told ESPN's Chad Ford that beyond Anthony Davis, Waiters is the only other potential superstar in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Writes Givony, Waiters would have good value if he falls to the Mavericks.

The Mavericks are a team in transition, with a large amount of cap space coming up this summer and serious needs in the backcourt. Dion Waiters duplicates some of what sparsely used second-year combo guard Dominique Jones offers, but has good value at this point in the draft. Considering their flexibility, the Mavericks could go in many different directions here.

For more 2012 NBA Draft speculation and analysis, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Potential Picks For The Knicks And Nets

The Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks will not be picking in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Which players could they consider in the second round?

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2012 NBA Draft: Doug Gottlieb Top 30 Has Five From New York Schools

Five players from New York colleges are among the top 30 2012 NBA Draft prospects on the Big Board released Wednesday by ESPN college basketball expert Doug Gottlieb [ESPN Insider only]. Dion Waiters (No. 10) of Syracuse, Moe Harkless (No. 17) of St. John's, Fab Melo (No. 21) of Syracuse, Andrew Nicholson (No. 22) of St. Bonaventure and Scott Machado (No. 25) of Iona are on Gottlieb's list.

Below is what Gottlieb had to say about each player.

Dion Waiters (No. 10) -- With no position per se, Waiters should have the same role in the pros as in college, where he came in and changed the tempo. He is a dynamic Dwyane Wade-type of driver who will be a streaky shooter from NBA range, but he can get to the rim and is ideal for playing the role of an off-the-bench dynamo.

Moe Harkless (No. 17) -- I'm not totally sold on taking Kidd-Gilchrist ahead of Harkless, as Harkless has the scoring skill and perimeter ability that MKG lacks. Harkless does need to continue to improve his range, but as a 3 he has size, can rebound and definitely can score.

Fab Melo (No. 21) -- Melo made a magical improvement jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and he continues to improve his body. Melo is huge, he can shoot from 15, he can catch and is a basket protector.

Andrew Nicholson (No. 22) -- Nicholson is super bright, skilled as a shooter and passer. He has tremendous feet and gigantic hands, but he is not really a great athlete in transition and his game has some small forward to it. Nicholson is a good shot-blocker who probably is best with a winning team where he can just fit in.

Scott Machado (No. 25) -- Machado is an athletic point guard who can really create in transition or off of penetration. He changes the tempo of the game quite quickly and is a better shooter and athlete than Kendall Marshall, a better shooter than Tony Wroten and far more consistent a ball handler than Marquis Teague.

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2012 NBA Draft: Scoop Jardine Works Out For Knicks, Tries To Showcase Defensive Skills

Former Syracuse basketball point guard Scoop Jardine worked out with the New York Knicks Wednesday, as he tries to improve his 2012 NBA Draft stock and catch the eye of scouts and front office brass, who will hopefully select him on June 28.

As expected, because of Jardine's proven track record of being a hard worker, the 6-foot-2 floor general showed up eight pounds lighter than his playing weight at SU and was trying to prove to the Knicks he can play man-to-man defense after playing four years in the 2-3 zone.

"I think I showed my defensive ability improve. I think that's one thing the scouts want to see. We (played) a lot of zone, I've done that in a man to man set, shown my awareness on both ends of the court, and I think that's gonna help me in the next level."

In the end of his workout, Jardine said if the Knicks were to select him with their second-round selection (No. 48 overall) he said his job would be easy:

"I mean, it would be the easiest job in America," said Jardine through a smile, "throw a pass to Melo and get out the way! It would be a dream come true, actually going to Syracuse, he was one of the reasons (why I went), so to actually play along side him would be a dream come true, an opportunity to show what I can do, because I'm with one of the best players in the world."

Currently, Jardine is on the bubble to be one of the 60 players selected in the two-round draft. Right now, the Knicks own just one pick, a second rounder -- about where Jardine could go -- which they could use to try an bolster a thin group of guards.

For more on Syracuse basketball draft prospects, make sure to check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream or the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. Meanwhile, for everything on the Knicks visit Posting And Toasting.

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2012 NBA Draft: Syracuse's Scoop Jardine To Work Out For Knicks

While most top NBA Draft prospect will participate in the upcoming Combine, June 7-8, former Syracuse point guard Scoop Jardine will be working out for the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Jardine, a non-Combine invitee, is a low-tier prospect by the opinion of many draft experts and for him to get his named called June 28th at the NBA Draft, he will need to impressive scouts with these types of individual workouts.

Currently, the Knicks do not have a first-round pick but do have a second-round selection (No. 45) overall, which would be about where Jardine would go if his name is called.

However, there's some good news for Jardine, as it seems New York is interested in him and they need depth at the point guard position.

The executive called Jardine "real clever and crafty and very good at using angles and has good vision.’’ However, Jardine is not considered particularly athletic or possessing the kind of speed Lin showed during his breakout two months.

Still, NBA scouts see Jardine as a potential backup, after he averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 assists for the Orange as a senior.

Over the course of his five years at Syracuse (Jardine redshirted in sophomore year), the 6-foot-2 point guard transformed himself from a mistake-making headache to a very solid, floor general who helped the Orange earn a program best 30 regular-season victories, a Big East Conference regular-season crown and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

In his final season at Syracuse, Jardine tallied 8.9 points, 4.9 assists and 2.3 turnovers per game, while averaging 25.2 minutes a game.

However, Jardine's biggest attributes are shown through his intangibles, which feature a solid character, strong leadership skills and the confidence to take the big shot and make it. As much of a passer as Jardine is, with the game on the line he's not afraid to put his team on his back.

Jardine's negatives revolve around his scoring ability, which features a solid inside game but needs a lot of work from the outside. His biggest question, though, will be his defense, as Syracuse plays a 2-3 zone and never shifts into a man-to-man defense. Can Jardine man-up on other back-up point guards in the league?

If the Knicks are looking for a somebody to fill a bench spot and play well in limited time, Jardine would be a good selection, but the Philadlephia native does come with some question marks that will need to be worked out on Wednesday.

For more on Syracuse basketball draft prospects, make sure to check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream or the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. Meanwhile, for everything on the Knicks visit Posting And Toasting.

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