NEWARK-- The Cleveland Cavaliers have taken Syracuse guard Dion Waiters with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The Cavs envision Waiters as a perimeter scorer and backcourt running mate for point guard Kyrie Irving, last year's No. 1 overall pick who didn't disappoint this season and was named rookie of the year.
Waiters didn't start a single game last season for the Orange, averaging 12.6 points in 37 games. At 6-foot-4, 221 pounds, he's not afraid to drive to the basket and many feel he's got a pro-ready game.
Despite numerous rumors the Cavs were trying to trade with Charlotte and move up to No. 2 and select guard Bradley Beal, but a deal never materialized.
The Cavs also own the No. 24 overall pick and two selections in the second round (Nos. 33 and 34).
Analysis of the first 5 picks from USA Today:
1. New Orleans Hornets: Kentucky forward Anthony Davis
The crowd gave him a warm but anticipated reaction, as you might expect, and no one looked particularly surprised when Stern made his announcement. We've known about this pick since the lottery last month, but in that time, there have been no reasons to doubt it. Davis should be a franchise player as he continues to improve his offense. Defensively, he's a once-in-a-lifetime player. The Hornets could use the help in the paint, too. And Davis can dress for success. Grade: A
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
In an NBA draft first, college teammates go first and second. Kidd-Gilchrist was a bit of a surprise with this pick, but he may be the safest pick in the draft other than Davis. Kidd-Gilchrist will provide the Bobcats with stability on the wing. But he may not be the scorer the Bobcats lack. Grade: B+
3. Washington Wizards: Florida guard Bradley Beal
This pick was inevitable when Kidd-Gilchrist went second, as the Wizards need a shooting guard to pair with point guard John Wall and had been rumored to want Beal enough that teams were considering trading up to No. 2 to get the former Gator. Beal should be a good fit, but he may have been a bit of a reach if he can't improve on his college production. He draws comparisons to Ray Allen, but he shot 34% on three-pointers in his one season at Florida. Grade: B
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Syracuse guard Dion Waiters
This pick fills a need, clearly. Waiters will be a nice partner for last year's rookie of the year, point guard Kyrie Irving. He rose up the board after spending the season as the Orange's sixth man. Waiters has a lot of talent, but the pick seems to be a reach with Thomas Robinson and Harrison Barnes on the board. He dealt with maturity issues in his freshman year before stepping up as a sophomore. But he's a plug-and-play guard who should score well. Grade: C-
5. Sacramento Kings: Kansas forward Thomas Robinson
Robinson arguably was the best player on the board after Davis, and he's a tremendous value pick here. He should pair with center DeMarcus Cousins to help the Kings dominate the boards. He's not an elite defender, but his rebounding prowess prevents teams from getting second chances. Robinson was last season's breakout college star as the Jayhawks reached the Final Four. He fits the Kings and should be ready to start immediately. Grade: A