Now that the draft is over and we’ve had a few days to digest what happened, here’s a take on where Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph and Fab Melo ended up.
DION WAITERS, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, NO. 4
Cleveland filled a very obvious need on the offensive end by drafting Waiters at No. 4. The Cavaliers ranked 25th in the NBA last season at 93.0 points per game and needed to fill a void at the two guard. Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson played most of the minutes at shooting guard last season. Daniel Gibson has a team option for this season (which has not been picked up yet) while Parker retired from the NBA after a nine-year career. Waiters has a game that translates well to the NBA and could contribute right away, especially at the offensive end. Though Waiters never started at Syracuse, his 12.4 points in 24.1 minutes a game with his style of basketball was enough for Cleveland to roll the dice on him.
FAB MELO, BOSTON CELTICS, NO. 22
There is a lot of uncertainty in Boston, with only six players under salary for next season. Of those six, only Kevin Garnett and Greg Stiemsma (who was given a qualifying offer) played major minutes at forward and center. The Celtics will need to decide if they want to pony up to keep Brandon Bass, among others. With that in mind, adding two big men in Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger makes plenty of sense. Melo can contribute right away on the defensive end, although he still needs to develop an offensive skill set. If he can become a viable big man, it would take a lot of pressure off Garnett at the defensive end. Still, Stiemsma (if he returns as a restricted free agent) plays a very similar role on this team, so I wonder how Melo will ultimately fit in.
KRIS JOSEPH, BOSTON CELTICS, NO. 51
Boston seems to have gone Orange in recent months. The NFL’s New England Patriots drafted defensive end Chandler Jones with their first round pick and the Celtics selected with Kris Joseph with their second round pick, joining Melo. There are a couple of scenarios that could play out for Joseph. Best case, Jeff Green, after offseason heart surgery, decides not to sign with the Celtics and Mickael Pietrus leaves as well. That would open up the opportunity for Joseph to back up Pierce. Worst case? Both re-sign along with Bass, squeezing Joseph out of the picture. Joseph was a great complementary player in college—perhaps he can return to that role with the Celtics.