Alec Burks, former CU Buffs guard, looks to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft
If the NBA Draft plays out for Alec Burks the way the CU Buffs' season did, he'll be drafted in the middle of the second round. After all, the Buffs received a March Madness snub that had ESPN's Dick Vitale screaming something about Scarlett Johanssen. But assuming another injustice isn't served upon the CU basketball program, the athletic guard will be drafted in the lottery, among the first thirteen picks.
While some reputable publications argued Burks should stay in school given the uncertainty of an NBA season even occurring this year, he declared for the draft after a sophomore season in which he averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He is consistently rated as the best or second-best shooting guard in the draft, along with Washington State's Klay Thompson.
At six-feet-six, Burks has ideal height for the two spot, but needs to add muscle and strength to his frame. He sports an impressive six-feet-ten-inch wingspan along with great scoring, slashing and leaping ability. The recurring criticism of his game is that he can't shoot consistently from the perimeter, which could be problematic considering he's, you know, a shooting guard. To wit, he shot 29 percent from three his last year in college.
Still, Burks is a proven scorer with smoothness and an innate ability to finish at the rim. In a weak draft, he falls into a large group of players outside top prospects Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, who have polished aspects of their game and other areas that need vast improvement.
Burks' last workout was for the Utah Jazz, where he was joined by Thompson, his main competition. He has also worked out for the Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks. If selected in the lottery, he would be just the fifth CU player taken in that range.
Creating mock drafts can be about as useful and accurate as predicting the end of the world. But if you're into that kind of thing here is what the top mockers are saying: ESPN's Chad Ford has Burks going eleventh to the Golden State Warriors, NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper sees him with the Charlotte Bobcats at number nine and Draft Express also has him going to Charlotte, but not until the nineteenth pick.
The highest-selecting team that's been associated with Burks is the Sacramento Kings. He worked out for them Saturday, but the Kings already have a ball-dominating guard who can't really shoot in Tyreke Evans. Golden State could be a nice fit because it would give Burks a chance to develop behind starting guards Stephen Curry, who could teach him a thing or forty about shooting, and Monta Ellis. And if the Warriors trade Ellis in the near future, like many suspect they will, Burks could find himself in a starting role.
Wherever he ends up, he will want to pay attention to meetings about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and owners this week, which could have just as large an influence as the draft on whether or not Burks steps on an NBA court next season.
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