Over the past few weeks, here at SLC Dunk, we've written about Paul Millsap and Jeremy Evans participating in All-Star weekend. Not to be over looked are our Rookies, Burks and Kanter. Previously, Alec Burks has gotten love from Sebastian Pruiti in his weekly NBA Rookie Rankings at Grantland. This week he places Kanter at number 10 on the list (Burks gets mentioned with "The Rest" at the end of the article). The big men he ranks above him are Jon Leuer (averaging 25 minutes a night) and Markieff Morris (21 minutes) and have really been the only ones to play better than him. Kanter has also had an article written about him by Scott Howard-Cooper at nba.com, in which he offers high praise for the the young Turk that is, by most accounts, exceeding expectations for his first season. That article is here. Hopefully this attention adds up to the rebounding machine getting an invite to the Rookie-Sophomore Game in Orlando.
As for Burks, he is going to have a more difficult time. The Rookie Ladder rankings at nba.com is a guard love fest that seems to be based on which one is jacking up the most shots. Check the list out here, then look at the numbers at basketball-reference.com. Burks has played almost half as many minutes as most of the players on that list, but is shooting better than all but one (they're all pretty bad). His PER is 3rd best and his DRTG is second best. We'll see how it plays out, but a couple of more good outings while he's getting more minutes with Raja out, and he could help himself.
Next we can look at the Sophs. As Locke has noted many times on the radio and his blog, the sophomores are struggling this year. The only PF/C that are playing as well as Favors are Cousins and Monroe, who are both on pretty bad teams, and again are doing it with more minutes. If you look at the comparison and check out the per 36, they are all fairly even.
Hayward, on the other hand, is in the same boat as Burks, but added is his noted struggles shooting this season. However, its not as bad as you may think. Here is the comparison for the rookie small forwards. Paul George is having a great season, but Hayward is not far behind. He is leading in assists and steals, and has the second best PER.
It probably won't be possible to see all of our young guys at All-Star Weekend, so if you had to choose one rookie and one sophomore, who do you think should represent the Jazz, and why?