Dion Waiters: Syracuse Swingman Will Reportedly Declare for 2012 NBA Draft

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2012

The Dwyane Wade clone is declaring.

The Syracuse Orange lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes, 77-70, to end their season at the Elite Eight. Now, Dion Waiters has reportedly declared for the 2012 NBA draft, according to SportsNet New York.

UPDATE: Monday, March 26 at 6:49 p.m. ET

Waiters has officially decided to go pro, according to The Post-Standard Syracuse Basketball Twitter account. 

Syracuse's Dion Waiters has officially decided to turn pro. He will sign with an agent. More to come soon via official announcement. MW

— Syracuse Basketball (@PSBasketball) March 26, 2012

Right after Saturday’s game, Waiters didn’t announce his decision, but it was easy to read between the lines.

"I would love to get revenge but at the end of the day I'm going to sit down with my family and I'll make a decision," he said (via CBS Sports).

And at the end of the day, he chose the NBA.

Waiters didn’t have stellar stats in his sophomore season, averaging just 12.6 points, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals off the bench, but there is little doubt that he’ll be a top-20 pick.

He shot 47 percent from the floor and was averaging well over 20 points a game per 40 minutes. Waiters is incredibly explosive off the dribble and has the sort of athleticism that will instantly translate to the pro game.

Joe Treutlein of DraftExpress.com has made glowing remarks regarding his potential to make a big impact at the next level:

Looking forward, Waiters brings an interesting package of skills to the table along with a good amount of untapped potential. His style of play should seemingly translate well in a combo guard role off the bench as a sparkplug transition and pick and roll scorer who can defend multiple positions, which every NBA team seems to have at least one of these days.

In what turned out to be his final game with Syracuse, the Philadelphia native fouled out, shooting only 2-of-8 from the field for nine points to go along with two assists and two steals.

Now he’s off to greener pastures.