Houston Rockets Draft Prospects: Dion Waiters

Mar 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Dion Waiters (3) drives to the basket against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half of the semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The Rockets need an aggressive wing scorer; Waiters could be that guy.

We continue our look at possible draft targets for the Houston Rockets with a look at Syracuse guard Dion Waiters. He might be a bit small for the shooting guard position at 6-4, but he's an aggressive scorer who I think would fit nicely next to Goran Dragic (I'm assuming they'll re-sign Dragic and trade Lowry). During his sophomore year at Syracuse, Waiters averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and shot 47% from the field in just 24 minutes played per game. Waiters had to split time at Syracuse with Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph; over an average starter's 33 minutes per game, his numbers increase to 17.2 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.4 steals.

The pros of drafting Waiters: He's an athletic scorer who is very good in transition, can change directions off the bounce, and finish at the rim. On defense he doesn't have much experience guarding players man to man because of the 2-3 zone Syracuse ran, but he's shown the ability to play the passing lanes and create turnovers. With his style of play, he looks like a poor man's Dwyane Wade.

The Negatives of drafting Waiters: Doesn't have great range with his shot and is just an average free-throw shooter at 70%. Size and inexperience playing man to man also an issue on defense.

I wouldn't want the Rockets to use their first pick (14th overall) on Waiters, but with the 16th pick or if they trade back; Waiters would make a nice selection. With Kevin Martin on his way out and Chandler Parsons having a limited offensive game, the Rockets desperately need a scorer out on the wing. Jeff Goodman of CBS Sportsline has Waiters ranked as the 11th best prospect on the board; I think that's a little high, but the Rockets should consider him.

Sportsline projects Waiters to be drafted 17th overall, NBAdraft.net has him going 18th, NBA.com at the 14th pick to Houston, Draft Express has him going 17th, and HoopsHype at the 18th spot.

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