Draft Lookback: Syracuse in the '10s

In recent years, Syracuse continues to send their alum to the professional ranks of the NBA. Those working to remain there and begin there are shared inside.

Heading to the second decade of the 21st century, six players have been chosen to join the NBA after playing with the Syracuse Orange.

Wesley Johnson was first, drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Johnson would begin his collegiate career with Iowa State, starting in 55 of 58 games over his freshman and sophomore seasons. From his first to his second year, he dropped his output on the boards in half while still scoring at least 12 points per game.

Coming to Syracuse, he rose to his highest college averages in points (16.5) and rebounds (8.5) per game.

He would grab 299 rebounds, with more than 220 coming on the defensive glass.

Johnson had nearly six times as many blocked shots between his last season with Iowa State (11) and his only season with Syracuse (64).

The forward would make half of the shots he took from the field and a little over 77% of his tries from the charity stripe, playing and starting in 35 games with the Orange.

He was named Big East Conference Player of the Year and made the conference's First Team in his only season with Syracuse, residing atop all Orange in point totals for each of their four NCAA Tournament matches.

Johnson played his first two NBA seasons with the Timberwolves before being traded to the Phoenix Suns for last season (2012-13).

He has played in at least 50 games in all three of his professional seasons, averaging a little under eight points per game in that time.

Johnson continues to compete in the NBA.

Andy Rautins joined Johnson in the 2010 NBA Draft when he was taken early in the second round by the New York Knicks.

Rautins began his collegiate career as a rarely used reserve, playing in 20 games with no starts and averaging just under three points per game.

In his sophomore season (2006-07), rose his point total to a little over seven points per contest while demonstrating his defensive skills with 45 steals. He played in 35 games, starting in 20.

The 2007-08 campaign would be one of recuperating for Rautins, who did not play in any games after tearing his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his left knee.

When Rautins returned as a junior in the 2008-09 campaign, he seemed to have found his shot, rising to 10.5 points per game, making just shy of 37% of his three-point attempts.

He continued to be a nuisance on defense, stealing the ball 52 times and would also aid the Orange in rebounding, grabbing a little over three per game.

As a senior, Rautins became a starter for all 35 of Syracuse's matches.

Rautins improved on his overall shooting, making more than 43% of his attempts, including rising above 40% from long range for the first time in his collegiate career, scoring at least 12 points per game.

He added 17 more teams than his junior year to finish with 69 as a senior and assisted his teammates for makes over 100 times for the second-consecutive season.

After being drafted by the Knicks, Rautins would spend some time with the squad before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He played sparingly, competing in just five NBA games in the 2010-11 season.

In 2012, Syracuse sent its first trio since the 1986 draft (Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, Rafael Addison, and Wendell Alexis) to the NBA when Dion Waiters was selected fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, followed by Fab Melo who went later in the first round to the Boston Celtics and Kris Joseph who went late in the second round to the Celtics as well.

Utilized more minimally as a freshman, Waiters averaged 6.6 points per game and was able to attain 38 steals.

As a sophomore, he was a starter that came off the bench, meaning that he had starter's minutes but was never a member of the starting five.

For that campaign (2011-12), Waiters averaged six more points per game, rising to 12.6, came close to doubling his steals, and had more than 40 assists above his freshman total.

Waiters would prove vital in seesaw situations where the game could have gone either way, showing he was capable of changing the game at the rim and from afar.

Though not a true sixth man by minutes played, his efforts won him Big East Conference Sixth Man of the Year in his sophomore season.

In his first season in the NBA, Waiters amounted 14.7 points and 3 assists per game in 61 total contests as a Cavalier.

Melo was a relative non-factor in his freshman season, averaging 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game over 33 contests with 24 starts.

His sophomore season showed his progression into a defensive nag who blocked attempts (88), altered opponents' shots, and grabbed rebounds (95).

His defensive play aided the Orange in transition where they exhibited much success, making Melo's defense truly his best offense.

When on the offensive end, he was best-served near the basket, though he took the occasional jumper, averaging just shy of eight points per game to go with almost six rebounds per contest.

Melo would be ruled ineligible during the regular season and again for the NCAA Tournament before declaring his intent to join the NBA after the 2011-12 season.

He has played in six games for the Boston Celtics, spending the majority of his early professional career in the National Basketball Development League (NBDL).

Joseph was quiet in his freshman season (2008-09), doing little over 34 games, most of which he came off the bench for.

Despite being out of the starting five for much of his sophomore season as well, Joseph was a different player. He would elevate numerous areas of his game: points per game (3.4 to 10.8), rebounds per game (2.4 to 5.5), total rebounds (81 to 194), and assists (17 to 61). His effort earned him the Big East Conference Sixth Man of the Year award.

He would be a starter in his last 71 games over his junior and senior years, scoring no less than 13 points per game in both seasons.

Joseph's shooting percentage grew by more than 10% in both of his final two seasons, aiding in the advancing of his point totals.

In his first season in the NBA (2012-13), Joseph competed in 10 games, playing first with the Boston Celtics and later with the Brooklyn Nets, spending most of his professional days so far in the NBDL.

He was just involved in the multi-player trade between his old team, the Celtics, and new team, the Nets, which will send him back to the Celtics.

Most recently, Michael Carter-Williams was drafted after the 2012-13 Orange campaign by the Philadelphia 76ers on June 27, 2013.

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