Scouting Report on Alec Burks prior to the NBA Draft
Posted on September 29, 2013 by David Locke
I was searching through files getting ready for the season. This was my scouting report on Alec Burks prior to the NBA Draft
Player: Alec Burks
Specifics: 6’6 193
Birthdate: July 20 1991 (20 years old)
Numbers: 21 pts 6.5 rebs and 3 asts – 47% FG and 29% 3pt
Game Scouted: Colorado v. Texas A&M – Colorado v. Kansas
Alec grew up in Grandview Missouri. Was the state player of the year in Missouri. Was the Big 12 Freshman of the year. Leaves Colorado after two years. Set the Colorado school record for most points in a season and most free throws made and attempted in the a season.
Alec is a bonafide scorer. He plays mostly in isolation dribble drive circumstances. He was forced to use a ton of possessions at Colorado. The knock on his game is his outside shooting but as a 81% free throw shooter he has touch. He creates and plays off contact. He has an amazing ability to get shot off. His handle is ok for a two guard and he is a somewhat willing passer. Defensively, he is not very active.
He has all the skills to be a 18 to 20 point a game scorer in the NBA. He will be very good on a late short clock. If his shooting from the outside improves he will be deadly. Can he learn how to play as the non primary focus of a team’s offense? If he is special inside he has a chance to be a Brandon Roy type player. He will score and get to the line in the NBA. I believe players can learn how to shot and would anticipate Burks to be a 33% three point shooter, not great but good enough. Has to learn how to play without the ball, at Colorado had the ball in his hand most of the time.
Overall: He is a slashing scorer.
Move without the ball – Gets himself open but doesn’t use picks great to free himself. Didn’t come off picks tight or on a curl
Isolation Game: He can take you 1 on 1 and beat you. But he is going to need to learn some tricks to help him complete plays
Handle: He can beat you with the dribble and holds it together in traffic . Great hesitation dribble
Pick and Roll: He doesn’t turn the corner a great deal. He would rather retreat and go 1 on 1 .
Shooting: Not a good shooter. Some think his shot is broken others think it will develop. I am more on the side of developing. Has great elevation on his jump shoot which means he will be able to get the shot off. I also think it might be why he shots a low percentage that being that he is fatigued. Has a tendency to fade.
Passing – Passing is part of his game but not what makes him. He is ok passing but he doesn’t make a ton of plays for his teammates.
Understanding: Great offensive player.
Poise: Sometimes a bit cool for school.
Overall: Pretty lax defensively. Doesn’t give a lot of himself on the defensive end. He played harder in the final moments of the game. Good enough athlete to recover.
On Floor Defense: Not good. .
Help Defense: Not much
Pick and Roll D gets hit on picks without a lot fight.
Rebounding Average for a shooting guard
Hands: Good free throws and good handle on the dribble
Balance. Willing to play with contact, seems strong
Play Hard: Not incredibly but gives of himself offensively.
Feet: Good balance
Pressure Not clear
Attitude If he has it inside he could be special.
Best Case Scenario Brandon Roy or Paul Pierce
Likely Case Scenario: Caron Butler or Josh Howard Demar Derozan
Worst Case Scenario Willie Green
Pretty accurate as to what we saw from him as a rookie. He came a long ways last year and it sounds like he's ready to take it to a whole other level this year.
Utah Jazz blog Salt City Hoops had an interesting look at how some Utah players improved their performance at athlete training center P3 in Santa Barbara, California. One player jumped out at me.
"Alec [Burks] was the biggest winner," said (Dr. Marcus) Elliott (of P3). The staff really admired him for his work over the past couple years. He has apparently improved in a number of areas from hip stability, knee position and trunk strength, all of which affect quickness. They recognize the unique opportunity Burks will have this season to finally get steady minutes, potentially even as a starter. He is considered one of their more "elastic" athletes. He reached a vertical height of 12′ 2.5″ during an approach this summer. When he first arrived in May 2012 he maxed out at 11′ 8.5″. That height is especially worth noting considering that he also weighs 11 more pounds than when he started."
In a loud and clear sign that the Jazz are officially in rebuild mode, the organization didn’t re-sign one of its free agents from the 2012-13 season. Everybody but Tinsley quickly found a new NBA home, too.
Puzzling as to why he wouldn't be in someone's camp after the past two seasons.
While Biedrins and Jefferson are several years past their primes, the Jazz are hopeful they can bounce back to their previous forms and provide veteran court savvy and play.
Biedrins is young enough he could still have his best ball ahead. He still rebounds and blocks shots. Seems to have lost all confidence on his shot though. Being a contract year maybe he'll get his head straight?
P3 first got involved with the Jazz through an unlikely source—Rafael Araújo. The summer after being drafted by the Toronto Raptors, Araújo went to the P3 facilities in Santa Barbara for two months at the recommendation of his strength coach. He eventually found his way back to Utah in his third season. After that, Paul Millsap and Ronnie Brewer became the next Jazz players to work with Dr. Elliott and his staff.
According to Dr. Elliott, when Brewer first got there, “He could jump, but wasn’t as good on lateral speed.” So they put him through their evaluation process and starting customizing his training.
“When Ronnie first started, he said he wanted to work on his jumping ability, when that was actually his best area.” Elliott continued to share stories about Brewer’s development and how they helped him in certain areas. “Even Sloan said he was a liability at the time. Now he’s making a name for himself for being a defender.”
And he still should have been starting over Fisher at the 2!
For many of the young Jazz players, they’ve been training with P3 their entire time in the league. The goal for P3 is to be able and track their progress throughout their career.
The entire staff at P3 had nothing but positive things to say about the Jazz players and organization. They seemed just as excited as the Jazz fan base for this upcoming season, with all the potential in each of the players.
The unique relationship that the Jazz organization has developed with P3 goes back to the original days with Paul Millsap and Ronnie Brewer. Ever since those two started the excursions down to sunny, southern California, more and more players have joined in each year. Not all of them were as open to the idea initially. When Deron Williams was still with the team, he was one of the players who needed to be “converted” to their style, as Dr. Marcus Elliott put it. Since workouts are not required, participation is purely based on the players themselves. After learning about P3′s methods, there’s a reason why more and more players are joining the party.
Williams became such a believer, that he has since introduced the Brooklyn organization to P3. In fact, as you look at the complete roster of P3 athletes, many of them have connections back to Utah.
The staff at P3 credited Jazz trainers Gary Briggs and Mark McKown especially for fostering such a fruitful partnership and had nothing but good things to say about the entire organization. This might be the off-season, but Dennis Lindsey, Ty Corbin and even Randy Rigby have all been down for visits.
In order to track the best results, P3 tries to get athletes to their facility first thing after each season, and then again before the start of the next season. That way, they can grade both off-season and in-season improvements.
The Jazz players to attend this summer were Alec Burks, Jeremy Evans, Derrick Favors, Trey Burke, Enes Kanter, John Lucas III, Brandon Rush, Ian Clark, and most recently Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and Andres Biedrins. The latter three were in Santa Barbara as recently as last Thursday and Friday. The only members not to participate were Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson.
Maybe just what Biedrins needed? His problems seem to stem from his head though. Marvin doesn't need any help.
The other player they talked most about was Jeremy Evans. Several coaches commented that this is the best he’s ever looked. He was noticeably thicker and displayed better overall strength. Evans is one of the few guys that has shown an increased vertical every year since entering the league. He’s one of the young guys on the team who has been with P3 since he was drafted. In his initial assessment his rookie year, he could touch 12′ 2.5″ on his vertical jump. This past off-season he reached 12’ 7.5”. That is the highest any athlete has ever touched with P3 and means he has increased his vertical five full inches since entering the NBA; he now boasts a 43.5 inch vertical. While Jeremy has always been exceptional with an approach, his ability to create force from a rested position or without the aid of the stretch shortening cycle has improved considerably. This has been their number one focus with him. He now has much greater jump diversity, as they call it. The fact that he hasn’t peaked and keeps adding inches to his vertical every year is very positive.
Next was Favors. On a few different occasions, the trainers referred to him as a “beast.” Everything about his performance has been improving by their standards. They were excited to see how it translated to the court this year with his added responsibility. I asked their opinion about his “raw” talent as it is often described. Dr. Elliott responded by saying, “Derrick is one of the hardest workers, strong, but it took him way too long to get off the ground.” So they started working on that specifically. His seated jump test was below average in the beginning, but is now number one (!) among NBA big men in terms of speed of jump. Since P3, he tests among the NBA’s best bigs in almost every category. Some trainers noted that he practically moves like a guard.
Based on his improvement on the court I wouldn't guess he was a hard worker.
One of the most interesting stories was that of Ian Clark, as he started his relationship with P3 independent of the Jazz. He worked with them during his pre-draft workouts and went on to, as Dr. Elliott described it, “tear up the Summer League.” Elliott continued by saying, “I don’t think Dennis [Lindsey] will mind if I share this.” After some of his workouts in Santa Barbara, he called Lindsey to give him some of his numbers. He did not comment on the amount this phone call may have influenced the Jazz management to sign Clark, but the timing might suggest such.
Newly drafted Trey Burke didn’t have nearly as much data to pull from as other players. This was his first interaction with P3. They commented that he was “very hard working with solid character.” He hadn’t had significant professional training beforehand, so the staff was confident they would begin to see noticeable improvements. He showed good slide agility, and side to side quickness. The biggest thing they noted was that it was still difficult to see his ceiling as a player.
They were pleasantly surprised with Enes Kanter. His shoulder looks good, per their evaluations, and used the phrase “coming back online” to describe his rehab process. One of the main targets they worked with Kanter on was his force explosion, in essence, getting back up to the basket quicker. They use the force plates to determine these numbers as was described in part one of this series. Kanter is one of the highest force athletes they work with as well as one of the strongest of all the athletes they have tested in the NBA. He currently owns the second best mark, for an NBA player, in their rotational power test. But above all the physical numbers he registered, they were most impressed with his character and perseverance. They shared his story of training in Santa Barbara while simultaneously observing Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims will fast from food and liquid from dawn until sunset. To keep up with the demanding training, Kanter would set his alarm twice in the middle of the night to wake up and eat.
John Lucas III came with the rest of the team as a first-timer this summer. He was, according to trainers, “skeptical” of their approach. They noted his old school mentality towards the game, as one who grew up around the sport. By the end, Lucas was a solid convert. After observing the team’s behavior and chemistry together, Dr. Elliott added, “He’s going to be a great part of this team.”
Brandon Rush is another one to join the Jazz this off-season. He was reported to have a “ton of bounce in his body.” P3 didn’t have information on him before his injury, which made it tough to fully evaluate his progress with his injury. He hadn’t had much jump training before, but was still really quick off the ground. The best sign for his rehab was his balance and stability through all of the testing and workouts.
After last week’s workout, Gordon Hayward reportedly looked great. He has improved every off-season in terms of strength, power and agility. According to their roster, he is one of the best agility and lateral speed NBA wings and is also is an above average jumper both from a static position and an approach.
Rudy Gobert also looked good and did not have a number of movement pathologies that they often see in big men. His standing reach of 9′ 9″ is the highest they have recorded.
Overall, the Jazz showed great progress during their time in Santa Barbara. It will be an important growth year for the organization, and having this sort of relationship with one of the leading teams of experts, trainers and doctors on our side will definitely help player development. In my opinion, the Jazz are years ahead of other teams when it comes to off-season training and I was more than impressed with the entire P3 staff.
Here’s a video they posted on their Facebook page highlighting the Jazz’s workouts this summer.
P3 collects hundreds of biomechanical data points with every test, and could have gone into much greater detail athlete but asked that I refrain from sharing specific details about specific players as to respect their contracts with certain players/organizations, especially the Jazz. I respectfully agreed.
Then the part where I get really, really confused: In 2011-2012, Tyrone Corbin’s first full season coaching the Jazz, the team ranked 7th offensively after ranking 14th in the previous year, even amid all the Jerry Sloan/Deron Williams drama and departures. In 2012-2013, the Jazz ranked 11th offensively (tied with Dallas). I have to admit that these numbers surprised me. Could Alfense alone provide a decent offensive efficiency ranking, even if giving it the eyeball test was a painful experience for so many Jazz fans (how many truly enjoyed watching the pass-it-into-Al-and-watch-him-go-to-work-for-20-seconds offense? I’m curious. Not trying to be snarky. Just genuinely curious). Does Corbin have a system in place that’s better offensively than we realize? I guess only time will tell.
Al and Foye(and Marvin soon?) being gone hopefully will get them back to playing Jazz ball in the half court. They should get after people more defensively and run more this year too.
Earn a roster spot. Justin Holiday's strength lies in his defense. It is no surprise that the Jazz lack strong perimeter defenders. If Justin Holiday can show a knack for defending the perimeter at an above league average level he has a chance to earn a coveted roster spot. His competition will be Scott Machado. While Scott Machado has the inside track on a roster spot because the Utah Jazz point guard depth chart looks like this, the real way to earn a roster spot is by showing the ability to defend. Dennis Lindsey said he wants players who show the "ability to build a defensive foundation ... and guys who are really committed." If Justin wants coveted contract for the 2013 season and a roster spot the spot is his if he can defend better than Scott Machado.
They play different positions. Comes more down to need and who's better.