In his most recent mock draft (subscription required), ESPN’s preeminent NBA draft pundit, Chad Ford, has former Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters headed to the Golden State Warriors at pick No. 7.
Say it ain’t so, Chad.
I’m somewhat hesitant to question Ford’s expertise. The guy makes a living studying the draft and probably has as much information as anyone alive on potential selections. But I just can’t imagine Golden State making that pick.
Nor could I stomach it.
The problem is that Waiters represents the single most abundant NBA commodity: He’s an athletic, scoring two-guard who doesn’t make anyone around him better.
These guys grow on trees.
So if the Warriors were to draft Waiters, he certainly wouldn’t be a starter. Fortunately, that’s something Waiters is used to. The guy came off the bench in every game for Syracuse in his two seasons there. And while the scoring sixth-man has become an increasingly popular trend, the Warriors already have Charles Jenkins and Brandon Rush on the roster.
Their quota of one-dimensional bench scorers is full.
And like I said, nobody really needs backcourt scoring, least of all, the Warriors. Any shooting guard in the NBA could average 15 points per game if given the minutes. So why draft Waiters, who only averaged 12.6 in college?
At No. 7, it makes much more sense for the Warriors to take a swing at a big man who could step in and support their frontcourt. Guys like North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller are unexciting. And guys like Kentucky’s Terrence Jones are wild cards. But at least either of them would address an area of need.
In short, Waiters is not the type of player that can improve the Warriors. So, I’m hoping Ford is wrong.
Because if he’s not, and Golden State drafts Waiters at No. 7, it’ll be hard to convince Warriors fans that the front office has a clue about what the team really needs.