Syracuse Basketball: NBA Stat Prediction for Dion Waiters, Fab Melo, Kris Joseph

Daniel O'Brien@@DanielO_BRFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2012

Syracuse Basketball: NBA Stat Prediction for Dion Waiters, Fab Melo, Kris Joseph

0 of 3

    The 2012 NBA draft was a special night for the Syracuse basketball program, with three of its players drafted, including Dion Waiters in the top five. Now the tough work begins for these talented Orange stars as they strive for professional success.

    How much of an impact will each player have at the next level?

    We know the Cleveland Cavaliers anticipate substantial production from Waiters, but what kind of contributions can we expect from Boston Celtics draftees Fab Melo and Kris Joseph?

    Here's our breakdown of each player and comprehensive NBA statistics predictions.

Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers

1 of 3

    It seemed like the Cavaliers reached when they picked Dion Waiters fourth overall, but he could be the perfect fit for the franchise. 

    He'll likely start for the Cavaliers and take some of the shot-creating pressure off Kyrie Irving. Also, when Irving's getting a break, he can run the point a little bit.

    Waiters will probably score more as an NBA rookie than he did last year at Syracuse. However, his shooting percentage may not be that great because he'll take a high volume of shots to get his points.


    Per-Game Projections for Rookie Year

    Minutes: 28.5

    Points: 15.3

    Rebounds: 4.2

    Assists: 4.4

    Steals: 1.0

    Blocks: 0.4

    FG%: 42 percent

    3P%: 34 percent

    FT%: 77 percent

    PER: 19.8

Fab Melo, Boston Celtics

2 of 3

    Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics needed size, so they grabbed Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo with back-to-back picks. Sullinger's skill set renders him NBA-ready, while Melo's repertoire needs more development.

    Melo has a chance to be a solid NBA center, but not in the immediate future. He must learn the nuances of man-to-man defense and weak-side rotation in order to tap into his defensive potential.

    He also has a long way to go on offense, where his skills and footwork are limited. Fortunately, he'll learn from Kevin Garnett and Sullinger, who are two exemplary post scorers.


    Per-Game Projections for Rookie Year

    Minutes: 17.5

    Points: 6.1

    Rebounds: 5.8

    Assists: 0.5

    Steals: 0.3

    Blocks: 1.3

    FG%: 52 percent

    3P%: N/A

    FT%: 68 percent

    PER: 14.4

Kris Joseph, Boston Celtics

3 of 3

    As a late second-round pick for Boston, there's no guarantee that Kris Joseph will make the roster or get an NBA contract with the club.

    That being said, he'll have a great opportunity to contribute as a decent all-around small forward. He can score from long-range, mid-range and he can drive all the way to the hoop.

    Similar to Fab Melo, Joseph's adjustment to the Celtics' style of defense will take time, but it's not outside his capability. As a rookie, he'll be deep on the bench, learning from several Hall of Famers.


    Per-Game Projections for Rookie Year

    Minutes: 9.2

    Points: 3.3

    Rebounds: 2.7

    Assists: 0.6

    Steals: 0.6

    Blocks: 0.3

    FG%: 40 percent

    3P%: 34 percent

    FT%: 78 percent

    PER: 12.5