The NBA Draft Lottery was determined late Tuesday night, and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the “fair” drawing for the third time in four years. Syracuse has three players eligible for the upcoming draft.
Freshman Tyler Ennis is believed to be the most sought after player. He will most likely be drafted towards the middle of the first round. Sophomore Jerami Grant should be picked soon after, while senior CJ Fair is projected to go somewhere in the second round.
Ennis is projected as the third-best point guard in the draft, behind Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and Australia’s Dante Exum. Exum’s giant frame and exceptional skill has made him the consensus top point guard in the draft, and it is pretty likely that he will end up with the Orlando Magic, barring a trade. Of the top three teams, the Cavs and the Sixers (third overall) have rising young point guards in Kyrie Irving and Michael Carter-Williams, respectively. The Bucks have a chance to draft Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, or Jabari Parker with the second pick, and will not settle for a point guard.
The next-closest team to the top of the draft that is in desperate need of a point guard is the Los Angeles Lakers. However, they drew the seventh overall pick in the draft, and with the talent at the top of the board, it is hard to imagine a situation where Marcus Smart will not fall to them.
This leaves the Bulls at 16th overall as the most likely suitors for Ennis. In his only year with the Orange, Ennis put up great numbers as a true freshman, averaging 12.9 points per game and 5.5 assists per game, with only 1.7 turnovers per game. The savvy point guard could learn from one of the best in Derrick Rose, who has missed a majority of the last two seasons with knee injuries.
Ennis, who is considered one of the most pro-ready point guards in recent memory, may not have the flashy upside and scoring ability of some of the prospects. He does, however, have an uncanny ability to control the offense and be a floor general, as he proved with the Orange.
The biggest question heading towards the draft for Ennis is where he could be picked. Many have him inside the top-ten, while many have him projected outside of the lottery picks. The Lakers and Bulls seem to be the best fits for Ennis, but somebody could be looking to trade up to snatch the young point guard before others can get to him.
Posted by: Jason Weingold