Waiters believed to have struck deal with NBA team

Philly product Dion Waiters' stock has been rising ahead of the June 28 draft, one NBA executive said.
Philly product Dion Waiters' stock has been rising ahead of the June 28 draft, one NBA executive said. (JOE RAYMOND / AP)
Posted: June 10, 2012

CHICAGO - For Dion Waiters, it seems as if the wait to learn who will draft him is already completed.

Waiters, a Philadelphia product who starred at Syracuse, pulled out of the NBA predraft combine here Thursday and was believed to have struck a deal with a team in the lottery, perhaps Phoenix or Toronto, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

According to a league source, if a deal has indeed been struck, it is more likely to be with Phoenix. The Suns have the 13th pick in the draft; Toronto has the eighth overall pick.

Waiters, who left Syracuse after his sophomore season, is expected to be drafted in the first round. However, according to a league source, Waiters had been very impressive in workouts prior to the combine and was considered to be climbing draft boards around the league.

"I think that he has really shown a maturity to his game that a lot of people were not aware of at the end of the season," said one Eastern Conference general manager who didn't want to be named. "I think they like his physical maturity and his savvy. I think it's safe to say that he is climbing."

Still, that same GM did not think Waiters' ending his workouts was the ideal thing to do.

"Let's face it, this isn't an exact science," he said. "The draft is still more than two weeks away - things can change. I don't know that this is the best way to go."

The draft will be held June 28.

Waiters averaged 12.6 points and shot nearly 48 percent from the field while playing a little more than 24 minutes per game last season for the Orange. At the draft combine, Waiters measured 6-2½ without his shoes (6-4 with them on). He weighed 221 pounds.

Attempts to reach Waiters' agent, Rob Pelinka, were unsuccessful.

Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.


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