Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Alec Burks


A lot of fans won’t want to hear this, but the Pistons may very well be in a position where the best player available if they don’t move into the top three in the draft lottery will be a wing player. The Pistons are big-man needy, but look around the NBA. That’s a pretty common problem, and the best bigs at the top of the draft could be off the board if the Pistons pick in the 7-10 range. So what’s a team to do? Maybe draft Alec Burks. The Pistons seemed to do OK with another high-scoring former Colorado guard in Chauncey Billups.


Measurables: 6-foot-6, 195 pounds,  sophomore G from Colorado

Key stats: 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists per game while shooting 47 percent

Projected: Lottery

How would he help the Pistons?

Size and athleticism-wise, Burks is the prototypical NBA shooting guard. He gets to the rim and finishes as well as anyone in college basketball. He’s a good rebounder for a guard. His quickness, size and long arms could allow him to become a very good defensive player. The Pistons had a lot of players play in isolation this season. It looked ugly because they don’t have a player capable of consistently getting good shots out of those iso situations. Burks was that player, however, at the college level. He shot 53 and 47 percent at Colorado, has an ability to set up teammates and he’s perhaps the most intriguing prospect in the lower half of the lottery.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

First and foremost, he has to shoot better from the perimeter. He shot 29 percent from three last season. That’s not a major red flag as several athletic perimeter players come into the NBA needing work on their jumpers (Derrick Rose, John Wall and Russell Westbrook are recent examples). But in the likely event that Rodney Stuckey is back as the team’s point guard, would the Pistons be able to play two guys who are more comfortable slashing to the basket in the same backcourt? With Stuckey, his lack of a jumper has been a hindrance to his slashing ability in the NBA because defenders simply sag off of him. Burks might find himself in that same boat if his jumper doesn’t improve.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

"Unlike most big-time scorers from small(er) colleges, Burks is a fairly unselfish player who is more than capable of making the extra pass. Even if he’s often asked to be the one creating and finishing shots for his team (particularly late in the shot clock), he’s a nice weapon to have in a half-court offense thanks to his solid court vision and good basketball IQ. When Colorado’s starting point guard goes to the bench, Burks will man the position, which is a good indication of the versatility he brings to the table."

From ESPN:

"Burks is one of the best athletes in the draft and our top rated SG in our Top 100. His ability to get to the rim and finish is the big draw for NBA execs. If he was a better shooter, he’d be a top 5 pick. As it stands right now, he’s a likely lottery pick."

From The Denver Post:

"In two years, Burks has made his mark on the Colorado record book. His career scoring average (19.0) ranks only behind Cliff Meely (24.3) and Shaun Vandiver (20.6). He holds CU freshman (512 points) and sophomore (779) scoring records. And as a sophomore he became the first Buff in history to reach 770 points, 240 rebounds and 100 assists in the same season."

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