The Utah Jazz have placed Alec Burks on the trading block. Alec Burks, the 12th overall pick of the 2011 Draft (same class as Kenneth Faried), was drafted by the Jazz in hopes of having a solid contributor at the shooting guard position. But since Gordon Hayward is able to do well in that spot (13.5 ppg, 2.4 apg, 3.3 rpg), and he has Randy Foye to back him up, it was clear there's no more room for Alec Burks to show why he's a lottery pick like Hayward and Foye. Burks only played 5 of the last 10 games and has a PER of -5.8.
While many Nuggets wanted Kenneth Faried or Tobias Harris to be selected 22nd overall, I was one of the very few who wanted Burks to be selected by Ujiri although he was projected to be a lottery pick which did happen.
I've been a Burks fan before and after he got drafted by the Jazz. Now that Burks is available on the "market", I hope Masai Ujiri would make a trade to get him.
And why I wanted Burks to be a Nugget, here are the reasons why (source: NBADraft.net; stats are based on his finally year in CU):
- He was a star at the University of COLORADO, where Denver is. Going back to his college state could help his confidence.
- (Source: NBADraft.net) A 6'6" athletic guard who can get to the rim using EITHER hand (in fact, he is better driving to the left than to the right).
- His aggressiveness makes him a lethal scorer (20.5 points).
- He has good court vision and willingness to create for others (2.9 assists) and is a good rebounder for his size (6.5 rebounds).
- He is also an 82% free throw shooter.
- With his length (6'10") and athleticism, he can be a great defender in the NBA.
An aggressive mentality, a great finisher, and a good free throw shooter IN ONE is something we desperately need. In Alec Burks, I see a perfect fit for Denver's dribble drive offense. The Nuggets have an aggressive player (Ty Lawson), a great finisher (Andre Iguodala), and a good free throw shooter (Danilo Galinari), but no player in the roster appears in a complete package. For about the past 3 seasons, Denver has been in the top 5 in free throw attempts, and yet they have never been in the top 5 in free throw percentage. The Carmelo Anthony trade made it worse, as Denver does not have a calm shooter capable of making opponents pay for fouling. Gallinari has the percentage but his injury history has made his willingness to attack the rim has been inconsistent.
Also, Denver doesn't have to ask Burks to shoot threes. He's 29% in that area. Three-point shooting is Gallinari's, Iguodala's, Lawson's, Hamilton's, and Fournier's responsibility. Just give him time to develop that shot.
Burks' future in Utah is coming to a close, and he needs a team willing to develop him if he doesn't want to be considered a draft bust. His basketball DNA really fits in the Nuggets' gene pool, and I hope Ujiri is planning a deal to get him.