Dion Waiters withdraws from NBA Combine and interviews, Did he receive lottery promise?

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With his strong performance down the stretch for Syracuse this past season, Dion Waiters has become one of top shooting guards in the 2012 NBA Draft, probably set to be selected anywhere between the back half of the lottery and about the 20th overall pick.

And it took some by surprise when Waiters, a 6-4, 215-pound Philadelphia native, pulled out of the rest of his workouts and interviews with NBA teams, sparking rumors that he has received a promise from one front office that he would be selected in the lottery.

RealGM.com points out that teams like Toronto, Portland, and Phoenix may have made the promise to him, with those three teams sitting on a pick in the second half of the lottery.

“His agent has told me there’s a promise to another team,” Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo said, according to the site. “Regardless, if he’s on the board he’s in our mix.”

Waiters averaged 12.6 points and 2.6 assists per game this past season for the Orange in 2011-12, including 28 points in a Big East tournament loss to Cincinnati.

Most appealing to teams, perhaps, is Waiters’ size and muscular frame, which would translate well as a shooting guard at the NBA level. Scouts are also high on his intangibles, and the fact that he was able to excel at Syracuse, coming off the bench, yet was many times the most impressive player on the floor.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_