The NBA Draft is simply the most important time of the year for rebuilding
franchises. Just ask the Portland Trail Blazers. Whether it is the next Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant, or the next Sam Bowie and Greg Oden, we are out to identify the legitimate prospects from the phony ones. Every week, we will deliver profiles of top prospects and breakdown their game. We will give you player comparisons, ratings, outside opinions on the prospects, and much more. Yesterday we had San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard, and next up is Colorado shooting guard Alec Burks.
Ceiling: Kevin Martin
Basement: Marquis Daniels
Final Comparison: Eddie Jones
Ratings (on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being overseas talent and 10 being NBA Rookie of the Year)
As a shooting guard Burks has great length and size for the position. He is also quick with good overall speed allowing him to get out into the open court and make plays around the rim. At the rim, Burks can finish thanks to his explosiveness and a 36-inch max vertical (sixth among shooting guards). All in all, Burks is a very fluid athlete. He uses this athleticism in a smart way by accepting contact and getting to the free-throw line with regularity.
The biggest weapon in Burks’ diverse offensive game is his ability to get to the free-throw line. Every part of his game helps him get there, the elusive dribble allows him to get around defenders. His burst and quickness put defenders in a bad position defensively and his size allows him to finish with contact creating more scoring opportunities. Combine all of those together and Burks is a foul drawing machine allowing him to score with ease and open the rest of his offensive game.
Bulk is going to be the name of the game for Burks at the next level, if he does not add any he may not be as effective as possible. He is a player that relies on penetration and free throws to get his points, right now his frame may be too slight to handle the rigors of the NBA. Other than that, he is a scorer that will get his and has the athleticism to compete from Day One for any team.
Like a few others in this year’s draft, Burks has a great chance to be the best player in five years. As a freshman in college, he impressed and was considered a lock for the first round; his decision to come back allowed Burks to round out his game even more. During his sophomore year, he proved he is a dangerous scorer and can get buckets from anywhere on the court. If improving year-after-year is a trend, Burks will only get better and end up as a very good NBA player.
On the court, Burks can do a little bit of everything – which shows he works hard on his craft to get better at all aspects of his game. Most are satisfied with being one-dimensional or limited, not Burks. He is a smart kid off the court as well, always interviewing well and speaks about the game in a mature way. Looking at the non-basketball side of his game, Burks is an even more complete player than the tape shows.
Combined Score: 41 out of 50 possible points
He has the complete package for a basketball player, while still showing he has a ton more untapped potential. Actually, Burks may wind up being the best player in this class. His combination of length, shooting, attacking mentality and niche for scoring is unmatched in this class.
Best Fit: Utah Jazz
Historically, the Utah Jazz have been a point guard franchise. The current roster and 2011 Draft indicate that this may soon change. Never has the franchise had a wing who could create, score and take over a game – with Burks they may find their first. The way this team is assembled fits very nicely with Burks’ game and would allow him to step in from Day One and make an impact. With their second first-round pick, Burks would be a nice fit with Al Jefferson, Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward and the No. 3 pick to bring this very proud franchise back to the playoffs.
“First time I watched Burks in person what struck me was his tremendous length for the position. I didn’t necessarily notice this as much on film. He’s a solid athlete with a good handle, and combined with his length, this allows him to get his shot off pretty much anywhere and at anytime. He can go wherever he wants to against most college teams thanks to his dribbling ability. He has an uncanny ability to make off-balance shots off the bounce. I usually don’t like guys shooting when they aren’t balanced, but he has the ability to make these shots consistently. This is something that really can’t be taught. His scoring ability is legit and should translate to the next level.” – NBA scout
What do you think?
Follow Kristofer on Twitter at @NBADraftInsider.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.