It’s time to open up a new feature here on Otto’s Grove, which we’ll be calling WAG – or, if you prefer, Wild Ass Guesses. With the NBA Draft looming tonight, it’s time to take a stab at when the three Syracuse players with realistic NBA dreams will be hearing their names called.
The one and done star for the Syracuse Orange will, barring some complete shock, be the first SU player off the board at tonight’s draft. After all, there’s a reason he was invited to the green room. However, don’t be surprised if he slides a bit further than expected and is one of, if not the last player down there, waiting to hear his name called.
The smart money at this point would be on him slipping no farther than the No. 20 pick, which just happens to be owned by his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors could use a good young point guard, and this would allow Ennis to begin his career coming off the bench. There’s always a chance that Tyler could sneak into the lottery, but particularly with the emergence of Elfrid Payton as another top point guard prospect, as well as the rise of Shabazz Napier, Ennis will almost surely be the fifth point guard taken, at best.
Right about now, Jerami Grant is probably wishing that Doc Brown would roll up in his DeLorean and jump out screaming, “It’s your draft stock, Jerami! We’ve got to do something about your draft stock!” Unfortunately, like hoverboards, time travel doesn’t yet exist. That means that Grant’s decision to turn pro after his sophomore season is looking more and more foolish as he’s projected as, at best, a late first round pick and in all probability will slide into the second round.
He’s a freak athlete, for sure, but his workouts are revealing something we all knew from watching him for two years: he has virtually no offensive game to speak of, and he still needs to get stronger. That places him squarely in the role of a “tweener” and someone will be taking a gamble by selecting him. A best case scenario might be going No. 28 to the LA Clippers, where he could learn from another freak athlete whose offensive skills were questioned in Blake Griffin, and it would allow him to be a part of Lob City. However, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to see him slide down into the 40’s.
It’s certainly a shame that the most productive Syracuse player in this draft class is the one least likely to get picked (not counting Baye Keita – no offense intended to the big guy), but at this point it would almost be a stretch for him to hear his name called tonight. Let’s be honest, if he doesn’t get picked by around the 45th or 46th selection, chances of him getting picked at all are not very good.
It seems to be a pattern that the longer a senior slides the less likely he is to get selected, and those last 15 or so picks of any draft are going to be the ones where front offices are going for broke, taking projects and foreign players that they could stash overseas for a few years. Four year players don’t often get picked that late in the draft because this is officially the “crapshoot” part of the process. Still, we’re going to think positive and project CJ Fair to the Washington Wizards with the No. 46 pick.