As the NBA Draft rolls around, it’s a bittersweet time for the Syracuse basketball community. There’s pride in seeing former Orange stars fulfill their hoop dreams, but also some sorrow in the fact that they won’t be returning to the Carrier Dome floor. Four former SU players worked out for NBA teams since the Orange’s season ended shy of expectations. Here are the names to look out for in Thursday’s draft.
The sophomore is the highest projected player amongst his Syracuse teammates and the only lock to be taken. Lydon has shifted all over draft boards, ranging from the late teens to the second round. On Draft Day Eve, most experts slot the forward as a late first round, and some even have him as an early second round pick. His biggest plus is that he is a big man who stretches the floor with his jump shot. His ability to hit the three is going to be attractive to NBA teams, however his size puts him in between positions. Lydon likely ends up going late in the first round.
The grad transfer spent only one season at SU, but it might have been the final push he needed to hear his name called on Thursday. White led the Orange in scoring and showcased his offense against the NCAA’s elite. If selected, White figures to be a second round pick and could fill a role nicely as a bench player. However, his age may scare away some teams. If White doesn’t get his chance in the draft, he will latch on with a summer team to try to prove his worth.
Gillon worked out for a number of teams in the past month. The first one that gave him a chance was his hometown Rockets. While Gillon isn’t likely to be picked, he will likely find a Summer League team to try out with or test the overseas market.
Believe it or not, Roberson was once thought of as a mid-second round pick. However, his stock fell over the course of the season. Roberson worked out with the Lakers and Pistons recently. Teams may see him as a poor man’s Tristan Thompson with his rebounding ability but lack of offense. However, some team may overlook that facet of his game because they may think that a shot can be developed in the NBA. Regardless, Roberson probably winds up undrafted, but stranger things have happened on draft day.