2014 NBA Draft Profile: Syracuse F CJ Fair

The NBA Draft is a little more than a month away, and Syracuse has two players that will definitely get drafted (Tyler Ennis, Jerami Grant) with a possibility for a third (CJ Fair). Today, we take a look at Fair, who returned for his senior season. Fair was the ACC’s Preseason Player of the Year, and led the Orange in scoring at 16.5 ppg.

Syracuse forward CJ Fair drives against UConn's Tyler Olander

Fair is projected as a possible second-round pick

Here is The Juice Online’s scouting report on Fair:

Strengths: Classic glue guy… Can score in a variety of ways… Consistent and reliable mid-range jumper… Capable slasher… Jab step allows him to create separation… Can hit the 3-point shot… Left-handed shot in the paint is near automatic… Solid rebounder… Wiry frame helps with steals and blocked shots… Has thrown down some highlight reel dunks… Good free throw shooter… Calm demeanor… Never rattled.

» Related: NBA Draft profile for Jerami Grant

Weaknesses: Needs to improve right-handed dribble… Not particularly explosive on his drive… 3-point shooting percentage dipped nearly 20 percent during senior campaign… Not a great play maker… Was turnover prone as focal point of offense… As with all Syracuse players, difficult to tell how he will transition from zone to man-to-man…

NBA Comparison: Trevor Ariza. Ariza has found a steady role in the NBA by expanding his offensive arsenal over time. Known initially as a slasher and energy guy, Ariza developed into a deadly outside shooter with the Wizards this season, knocking down 40.7 percent from downtown. Ariza, picked 43rd by the Knicks in the 2004 NBA Draft has become a model for all second round picks, a position that Fair may find himself in.

Vitals:

  • Birthdate: September 1, 1991
  • Hometown: Baltimore, MD
  • Position: Forward
  • School: Syracuse ’14
  • Height, 6’8″
  • Weight, 218 lbs

Projections:

College Highlights: Fair was named to the Associated Press All-American Third Team, the first Syracuse player to have that honor since Wes Johnson in 2010. He was also honored to All-American teams by USA Today, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Fair was also named the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, and finished the season by being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-ACC First Team.

Overall: Fair didn’t particular help or hurt his draft stock by coming back to Syracuse for his final season. He was projected as a possible second round pick last year, and that’s exactly where he is this year. Fair is solid in several different categories, but doesn’t have one above-average NBA skill, which hurts his draft potential. If he’s put in the right system, he could catch on as a rotational player on an NBA team. But that’s the best case scenario.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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