In less than one month, the nation’s best college talent will be on the same stage at the NBA Draft, waiting to fulfill their childhood dreams. Tyler Ennis, Jerami Grant, and C.J. Fair were three of Syracuse’s most consistent starters last season, in a year that ended much more quickly than most expected.
In DraftExpress’ mock draft, Ennis is the first player headed to the NBA, going 16th overall to the Chicago Bulls. In a way, this is an ideal spot for Ennis. He would have the opportunity to learn All-Star Derrick Rose. The problem with this is that there is very limited playing opportunity for Ennis: D.J. Augustin is a free agent, and if he returns to Chicago, there is little opportunity for Ennis.
Ennis is ready to be an NBA starter. In Syracuse, he showed he was capable of coming into a new system, adapting quickly, and running the floor, even as a freshman. The NBA stage is bigger, but Ennis would benefit from being the starter on a team that is rebuilding, like Michael Carter-Williams with the Sixers.
The next man on DraftExpress’ board is Jerami Grant at 25th overall to the Houston Rockets. Although Grant is more of a forward than a natural big man like Dwight Howard, Grant would have a tremendous opportunity to get some playing time in Houston, and to develop with Howard. Both are great defensive players, but learning from Howard would only make Grant a better player.
Grant would likely sit on the bench behind Chandler Parsons. Grant is already a very solid player; he isn’t the best shooter, but he is capable of becoming one. Parsons is 6’9” and can grab rebounds and shoot threes. He is almost all over the court doing something to help his team. Parsons and Howard could be two big keys to helping Grant excel as an NBA player.
Although he has declared, DraftExpress doesn’t have Fair being drafted. Fair was a great college player for Syracuse. He improved year after year, but at times was inconsistent. His consistency may lean teams toward not drafting him. In the end, he should be within an NBA organization, whether that is on a professional roster or in the D-League.
Fair would benefit from being on a team like the Boston Celtics. After losing the Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, the Celtics are officially in a rebuilding period. They have the 6th overall pick in the draft. Fair has learned to become a distance sharp-shooter from the corner. The Celtics could use some shooters, and Brad Stevens is recently a former college coach, and could connect well when coaching young talent.
Posted by: Austin Pollack