Scotto: Syracuse’s Swider, Boeheim fill needs for new NBA teams

Buddy UNC
Feb. 29, 2020; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Buddy Boeheim (35) drives against North Carolina Tar Heels guard Christian Keeling (55) during a 92-79 loss. Mandatory Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim and Cole Swider were not picked in the 2022 NBA Draft, but they both signed two-way contracts with NBA teams afterward. To assess their fit in the NBA, we caught up with Michael Scotto from Hoops Hype and USA Today Sports on this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv.

Boeheim, who led the ACC in scoring in his senior season at 19.2 ppg, was signed by the rebuilding Detroit Pistons, and it’s easy to understand why.

“Detroit was second to last in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage last year,” Scotto said. “It’s obviously an area of need for the team.”

Though Boeheim shot just 34.1 percent from downtown last season, a career low, he was still a 36.2 percent shooter in his four years at SU. The Pistons are hoping he can shoot closer to his career-high 38.3 percent in the 2020-21 season.

Boeheim should have an opportunity to show he can help the Pistons improve on their 32.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc as they look to rebuild from a 23-59 season.

“They desperately need shooting around Cade Cunningham around his ability to penetrate and create,” Scotto said. “It’s like what Brooklyn did with Seth Curry and Joe Harris. You can never have enough shooting in the NBA.”

Meanwhile, Swider finds himself in a different situation with the Los Angeles Lakers, also on a two-way contract. The Lakers had championship aspirations last season but ultimately missed the playoffs as LeBron James and Russell Westbrook couldn’t find a rhythm on the court.

With Westbrook, James and Anthony Davis taking up a majority of the salary cap space, the Lakers needed to get creative with filling out its roster.

» Related: Boeheim and Swider sign NBA contracts after going undrafted

That led to players like Austin Reaves, an undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma, signing a two-way contract with the Lakers that eventually got converted to a standard NBA contract last year. He went on to play 61 games with 19 starts.

Swider will have the chance to do the same.

“(The Lakers) need to find diamonds in the rough,” Scotto said. ”They’ve shown an ability to go through guys on a two-way contract. He’ll get a chance to prove his worth in summer league and see how he could have an impact on the Lakers.”

Afterward, editor in chief Brad Bierman calls in to further break down Swider and Boeheim’s chances, and also analyzes Syracuse’s history of producing first round NBA talent.

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About Wes Cheng 2766 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, 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 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]sujuiceonline.com.