NBA Mock Draft 2012: Chad Ford Projects Syracuse Wing For Minnesota Timberwolves

Mar 22, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Dion Waiters (3) celebrates after the semifinals in the east region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Wisconsin Badgers at TD Garden. Syracuse won 64-63. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-US PRESSWIRE

The first 2012 NBA mock draft published since the Minnesota Timberwolves regained their pick features Dion Waiters being selected with the 18th overall pick by ESPN's Chad Ford.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were able to regain a first round draft pick thanks to the Utah Jazz making the playoffs (and led by Al Jefferson in an interesting twist of events), meaning the 2012 NBA Draft is now going to be something worth following for those of us at SB Nation Minnesota. And, just like the NFL before it, the NBA mock drafts are going to be rolling out in herds over the next couple of months.

The most recent mock draft was brought to us on Monday afternoon by ESPN's Chad Ford and, while he's a respected expert in his field, his choice of a Syrucuse Orange wing will likely bring up bad memories for those that still feel burnt by the Wesley Johnson debacle. Still, let's let Ford explain because Dion Waiters is the man the Wolves need at the two-guard.

Analysis: The Wolves' biggest need is at the 2-guard spot right now. While I'm sure they'd prefer a better shooter, Waiters' ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket should make him a coveted pick here. Like Moultrie, Waiters has been moving up draft boards the past few weeks. I could easily see him in the lottery by draft night.

Someone that isn't a great shooter probably is not the Wolves are interested in, especially considering he's a bit undersized.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page.

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