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Burks VS. 2011 Draft Class Rivals

Howdy SLCDunkers!

And welcome to today's installment of my youth development series. Here are the links to my previous posts regarding an overview of our youth's situation, Hayward, Favors, and Kanter. Today's post will be comparing "Mr. Government Name Burks" to other guards and wings from his draft class.

Background:

Alec Burks was our 12th pick in the 2011 draft. We missed out on the playoffs slightly the previous season but would have made it in the Eastern Conference, but what else is new. This was also the first draft we had in the Post-Sloan/DWill Era. Our team definitely had needs for a good point guard or wing in this draft as we already had Favors, Big Al, and Millsap in the frontcourt rotation, but alas, the Jazz still drafted Kanter with the 3rd pick going with drafting the highest talent rather than for need.

Luckily we had this 2nd pick in the lottery this year to also pick up a serviceable slash-and-drive guard in Alec Burks who was heavily described as Dwyane Wade lite during the draft. I believe that when Burks has his shot and drive going for him we see glimpses of this potential still. I have been enjoying seeing our very own Alec Burks go off on scoring rampages this season quite a few times now. I have high hopes for him, providing that we retain him.

Anyways, let's see how Burks has done compared to the other guards and wings from his draft class. Today, I will be comparing him to all the lottery guards/wings (Irving, Derrick Williams, Knight, Walker, Fredette, Thompson) as well as a few other successful guards/wings from later in the first round (Leonard, Shumpert, Reggie Jackson).

2012 Backcourt Rookies:

Name

G

GS

MP

FGA

FG%

3P%

2P%

FT%

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

PER

USG%

ORtg

DRtg

WS/48

K Irving

51

51

30.5

14.6

0.469

0.399

0.491

0.872

3.7

5.4

1.1

0.4

3.1

2.2

18.5

21.4

28.7

109

110

0.125

Derr W.

66

15

21.5

7.5

0.412

0.268

0.467

0.697

4.7

0.6

0.5

0.5

1.2

1.4

8.8

12.9

20.7

100

106

0.059

B Knight

66

60

32.3

11.7

0.415

0.380

0.434

0.759

3.2

3.8

0.7

0.2

2.6

2.3

12.8

11.7

21.7

97

109

0.029

K Walker

66

25

27.2

11.6

0.366

0.305

0.392

0.789

3.5

4.4

0.9

0.3

1.8

1.2

12.1

14.9

25.2

96

111

0.009

Jimmer F

61

7

18.6

7.3

0.386

0.361

0.409

0.833

1.2

1.8

0.5

0.0

1.1

1.2

7.6

10.8

20.4

100

114

0.012

Klay T.

66

29

24.4

10.9

0.443

0.414

0.460

0.868

2.4

2.0

0.7

0.3

1.6

2.3

12.5

14.9

24.7

102

111

0.050

A Burks

59

0

15.9

6.1

0.429

0.333

0.442

0.727

2.2

0.9

0.5

0.1

0.9

1.4

7.2

14.0

22.5

105

109

0.076

Kawhi L.

64

39

24.0

6.3

0.493

0.376

0.536

0.773

5.1

1.1

1.3

0.4

0.7

1.4

7.9

16.6

14.5

119

101

0.171

I Shump.

59

35

28.9

9.1

0.401

0.306

0.440

0.798

3.2

2.8

1.7

0.1

1.9

2.9

9.5

10.8

18.2

96

101

0.068

Reggie J.

45

0

11.1

3.5

0.321

0.210

0.392

0.862

1.2

1.6

0.6

0.0

0.8

0.7

3.1

9.2

18.7

90

105

0.011


Looking back at this draft now, this was actually a fairly deep class for guards and wings.

Kyrie Irving from the get-go already performed like a worthy number 1 pick in his rookie season, averaging 18.5 pointts and 5.4 assists per game while carrying his team with 28.7% USG. Being a rookie with 21.4 PER is quite impressive and shows his offensive dominance.

Let's look at the rest of the rookies here now, Derrick Williams was very underwhelming for a number 2 pick, as were Brandon Knight and Jimmer for being lottery guards. Kemba Walker did okay and probably had a comparable rookie year to Burke right now, decent scoring at a low percentage and decent assist numbers. The more I think about Kemba, the more that it seems like that he is a fairly good comparison for what we've seen from Burke so far.

Klay Thompson displayed his above average shooting skills while being featured on a tanking team his rookie season.

Burks got the 2nd least amount of playing time out of this group with only late 1st round pick Reggie Jackson getting less. I deem this highly unacceptable, due to the fact that Josh Howard and CJ Miles were 2 of the wings getting more time than him his rookie year. Such a squandered opportunity of not investing into Burks early on. Anyways, Burks did good with what he was given, having the 3rd highest offensive rating and win share per 48 minutes out of this group.

I would say Kawhi Leonard is the 2nd best player of this group, which is highly impressive for not being a lottery pick, I still do not get how he slipped this far, but kudos to the spurs for drafting/trading for him. Low usage, but highly efficient player.

I recall Shumpert getting a lot of hype his rookie year, but looking at these stats, I think this may just be due to him playing on New York as none of his stats stick out to me especially.

Reggie Jackson was buried at the end of the bench his rookie season, not much to see here at this stage.

2013 Backcourt Sophomores:

Name

G

GS

MP

FGA

FG%

3P%

2P%

FT%

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

PER

USG%

ORtg

DRtg

WS/48

K Irving

59

59

34.7

18.1

0.452

0.391

0.474

0.855

3.7

5.9

1.5

0.4

3.2

2.5

22.5

21.4

30.2

108

110

0.125

Derr W.

78

56

24.6

10.1

0.430

0.332

0.463

0.706

5.5

0.6

0.6

0.5

1.3

1.6

12.0

14.5

23.5

101

105

0.076

B Knight

75

75

31.5

11.7

0.407

0.367

0.430

0.733

3.3

4.0

0.8

0.1

2.7

2.1

13.3

12.0

22.8

98

111

0.022

K Walker

82

82

34.9

15.2

0.423

0.322

0.459

0.798

3.5

5.7

2.0

0.4

2.4

1.9

17.7

18.8

25.6

105

111

0.080

Jimmer F

69

0

14.0

5.9

0.421

0.417

0.423

0.859

1.0

1.3

0.4

0.0

1.0

0.9

7.2

14.6

23.9

106

115

0.052

Klay T.

82

82

35.8

14.7

0.422

0.401

0.437

0.841

3.7

2.2

1.0

0.5

1.9

2.9

16.6

12.7

21.8

102

107

0.070

A Burks

64

0

17.8

6.1

0.420

0.359

0.439

0.713

2.3

1.4

0.5

0.2

1.2

1.8

7.0

11.5

20.7

100

109

0.044

Kawhi L.

58

57

31.2

9.1

0.494

0.374

0.554

0.825

6.0

1.6

1.7

0.6

1.1

1.7

11.9

16.4

16.4

114

99

0.166

I Shump.

45

45

22.1

6.1

0.396

0.402

0.392

0.766

3.0

1.7

1.0

0.2

0.8

2.2

6.8

11.7

15.6

108

106

0.094

Reggie J.

70

0

14.2

4.6

0.458

0.231

0.566

0.839

2.4

1.7

0.4

0.2

0.8

1.2

5.3

14.2

18.6

108

104

0.121

Alright let's see who took a jump their sophomore year.

Kyrie upped his minutes and scoring this year while remaining dominant.

Derrick Williams started to become competent and a serviceable starter this season, while still remaining fairly disappointing as a 2nd pick.

Brandon Knight remained an inefficient point guard.

Kemba Walker made quite the jump going from 12 to 17.7 points per game while increasing his shots per game and shooting percentage. I highly want Burke to do whatever Kemba did in the offseason after his rookie season so he can make a similar jump.

Jimmer remained bench fodder but slightly increased his shooting percentages, nothing to see here.

Klay Thompson made a jump his sophomore season as well, averaging 16.6 while making his defense average as well.

Burks playing time increased from 15.9 to a whopping 17.8 minutes per game. At least this time, it was Randy Foye and Marvin Williams taking away from his playing time, oh wait, Foye is gone already and Williams is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Burks' playing time frustrates me greatly, I'll leave it at that...

Burks did not improve at all from his rookie to sophomore season, a lot of the times he didn't have another good guard to play with as he was usually paired with Watson or Tinsley, so the perimeter defense would be focused on him when he was out there. Also inconsistent playing time from game to game (as well as 18 DNPs) probably contributed from his lack of improvement this season.

Kawhi Leonard's role increased this season and he retained much of his efficiency, the Spurs really did draft the diamond in the rough.

Shumpert regressed.

Reggie Jackson, began to demonstrate himself as an average backup point guard.

2014 Backcourt Juniors:

Name

G

GS

MP

FGA

FG%

3P%

2P%

FT%

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

PER

USG%

ORtg

DRtg

WS/48

K Irving

56

56

35.5

18.0

0.427

0.367

0.449

0.861

3.3

6.3

1.3

0.3

2.6

2.3

21.4

20.3

28.4

110

109

0.132

Derr W.

54

11

23.9

6.6

0.438

0.237

0.493

0.754

4.1

0.7

0.7

0.3

1.0

1.6

8.7

12.3

16.7

107

109

0.080

B Knight

48

45

32.0

14.6

0.418

0.344

0.452

0.817

3.5

5.0

0.9

0.2

2.6

1.9

17.1

16.7

26.9

103

112

0.062

K Walker

50

50

36.1

15.9

0.414

0.345

0.441

0.810

4.4

5.5

1.3

0.5

2.5

1.8

18.4

17.4

26.0

102

104

0.097

Jimmer F

41

0

11.3

4.8

0.475

0.493

0.464

0.895

1.1

1.5

0.3

0.1

1.1

0.7

5.9

16.5

23.9

106

111

0.080

Klay T.

58

58

37.0

15.5

0.431

0.405

0.452

0.797

3.1

2.4

1.0

0.5

1.8

2.9

17.8

13.3

21.6

106

105

0.103

A Burks

45

8

27.6

10.5

0.440

0.342

0.458

0.761

3.2

2.8

0.8

0.2

1.7

2.3

13.0

15.9

24.3

105

112

0.076

Kawhi L.

42

41

28.6

9.4

0.518

0.330

0.584

0.754

6.1

1.8

1.7

0.5

1.2

2.0

11.7

17.8

17.9

113

100

0.164

I Shump.

52

52

26.8

6.6

0.377

0.345

0.409

0.778

4.5

1.8

1.2

0.2

1.2

2.8

6.9

9.6

14.3

99

108

0.041

Reggie J.

58

30

28.5

12.1

0.434

0.313

0.476

0.878

3.7

4.2

1.1

0.1

2.3

1.8

13.3

14.8

23.9

102

105

0.087

Now we analyze the current season so far.

Kyrie Irving has continued his dominance at point guard and is starting to gain more hype from winning MVP in the All Star Game as well as getting invited to the preliminary olympic roster. However his team still has not demonstrated any success so far.

Derrick Williams has regressed from his sophomore campaign and is starting to solidify his status as bust, but has hope for a prolonged career as a rotational player with decent close range shooting as a dreaded tweener.

Brandon Knight is finally starting to look like an okay starting point guard who can shoulder a high load of an offense, the downside, he is the point guard for the worst team in the league right now in the Bucks... baby steps.

Kemba Walker is having a successful season in his team-up with our former Big Al. They are enjoying decent success together (for the Eastern Conference), while Kemba himself is averaging, 18, 5.5, and 4, very impressive numbers for a point guard in my book.

Burks is finally getting somewhat enough minutes for us to finally see him develop. However, he is still getting the 3rd least minutes out of these players (Jimmer and Derrick Williams have less). This is unacceptable when Richard Jefferson is starting on the team, a Richard Jefferson may I add that will in all likelihood not be back this season. The Jazz clearly are not putting Burks' development at a high priority this season. The only reasoning I can see this being is a tanking move, what other team with 5 lottery picks on rookie contracts be starting Richard Jefferson (and Marvin, and John Lucas III for a little bit) over them.

Burks is shooting better this year with more consistent minutes, has an above average PER, while being a high usage player. However Burks still needs to work on his defense.

Kawhi is still a dominant starter with superb efficiency, he is the only player here who can rival Irving's talent unless another player makes ridiculous improvements.

Shumpert remains unimpressive on offense and defense just like the rest of the Knicks.

Reggie Jackson has improved ever since the playoffs last year, and is now averaging 13 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds with 28 minutes per game ( all double his previous seasons' work). He is now a servicable point guard who rivals Burke's talent currently.

Overview:

As you probably figured out by now, my opinion is that Burks' critical lack of playing time throughout his career is the biggest mistake that Coach Ty Corbin has made in his time here. Playing Josh Howard, Randy Foye, CJ Miles, Marvin Williams, and Richard Jefferson over young lottery pick Alec Burks is inexcusable. I am glad to see that he is finally getting sixth man minutes this season, while I would prefer that he starts, he is finally getting something resemblant of a decent role on this team.

Anyways enough of my ranting of Burks' mismanaged development. Irving has lived up to his hype of being a first pick, although his defense and team leadership leaves more to be desired, he is clearly the alpha dog of this group of players. Kawhi Leonard is also a rising star in this league who I really want the Jazz to trade for, even if it takes a lottery pick. Here are my rankings of these players currently:

Franchise Players

1. Kyrie Irving

Quality Starters

2. Kawhi Leonard

3. Kemba Walker

4. Klay Thompson

5. Reggie Jackson

6. Alec Burks

7. Brandon Knight

Rotation Players

8. Derrick Williams

9. Iman Shumpert

Fringe NBA Players

10. Jimmer Fredette

Since these guys are only in their 3rd season, there is still much room for improvements that many of these players will make in their careers. I think Kawhi may make the jump to franchise player, and I think depending on how Burks plays with 32+ MPG, he could surpass Reggie Jackson, Klay Thompson, and maybe even Kemba Walker in these rankings. Apologies to Jimmer fans, but he is the bottom banana out of these players, some day, he may prove himself as capable of being a rotation player, or heck, maybe even a starter, but this is what his NBA career thus far has led him to be.

I am proud of the Jazz for drafting Burks. The only other player drafted after him who I would have considered is Kawhi Leonard. But for only having one player drafted after who is better is very good for having a late lottery pick.

I firmly believe that if Burks averaged the minutes that rival Klay Thompson has thus far in his career, he could be averaging amazing numbers, like borderline All-star level amazing numbers. Just by projecting Burks' current season's stats with Thompson playing time would lead to Burks playing 37 minutes per game, while averaging 17.4 points off of 14 shots per game, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. These stats are better than this season's all stars Joe Johnson and Kobe Bryant (obviously), and comparable to Tony Parker's as well if he could increase his assists slightly.

The future is bright and I am rooting that the Jazz sign Burks to a nice long extension this summer before other teams start to track his value. If we could get a 4-year, $32 million contract out of Burks, that would be an absolute steal.

Alec Burks remains an enigma for Jazz fans. He is only 22 (aka the same age as likely ROY Michael Carter-Williams) and is continuing to show elite slashing and foul-drawing abilities. With a consistent role, either starting shooting guard or sixth man, at 36 minutes per game, he is bound to do some major damage especially if he plays in a fast-paced, run-and-gun system. As denoted by the nickname "Easy 20" that Marvin bestowed upon, I also agree that Burks is the player I can see most likely averaging 20 points a game in the near future. Burks could easily become a 20-5-5 player next season while leading the team as its first or even second option. I have high hopes for Burks' ceiling as I very much still believe that he could be a Dwyane Wade-lite, or at the very least a more well-rounded Klay Thompson. I long for seeing the Burke-Burks-Hayward combination for longer stretches if fate lets it be so, or whoever controls their playing time.

Well, that's my pitch for today, stay tuned for next week's post on our rookies Burke and Gobert VS. their draft class rivals.

Thanks for reading dunkers, I appreciate all the feedback.

What's your opinion on how Burks has been developed so far by the Jazz?

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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