Any team that passes up the chance to draft Trey Burke in the 2013 NBA draft will be making a colossal mistake.
Although he only spent two years at Michigan, the Wolverines point guard made them count. Burke really grew into a star in his sophomore season. You could see his potential in his freshman year, but he put it all together this past season.
Burke averaged 18.6 points, 6.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds a game. What's even more impressive is that he shot 46.3 percent from the field. With Burke leading the way, the Wolverines made it all the way to the national championship before losing to Louisville.
Going into the draft, that game will be the lasting image of Burke on the court, as Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com reported last week. Burke chose not to take part in any of the skill drills at the combine:
"The combine for us will just be testing and interviews," Burke's father and newly-named agent, Benji Burke told MLive.com. "We won't be doing any workouts or skill things there.
"But he will definitely do all the testing and interviews with teams."
You can see why Burke made the decision he did. There's really nothing to be gained from partaking in the combine, and it's not going to hurt his draft position too much. Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com considers him the best point guard on the board:
Jeff Rabjohns @JeffRabjohns
Zero reason for Trey Burke to take part in NBA draft combine drills. He's the No. 1 PG on the board and it's not close.5/16/2013, 4:51:50 PM
It's hard to argue that Burke should be the top pick in the draft because you don't know how the lottery will unfold; however, you can say that Burke is the best overall player in the draft.
In a class that's bereft of can't-miss prospects, Burke has the kind of talent that sets him apart from the rest. Although he's probably not going to be the kind of transcendent star like some previous top picks, Burke is as close to a sure thing as you'll find in the draft.
Burke is a very good leader. Although he didn't have a great showing in the tournament overall, without him, the Wolverines wouldn't have been anywhere close to the title game. Burke showed a lot of poise and confidence for a sophomore.
As his shooting percentage would attest, Burke is a pretty efficient scorer. He's got enough ability around the perimeter to keep opposing teams honest. On the other hand, if a defender is playing too tightly, Burke can dribble around him and get himself a better shot near the paint or find an open teammate as the defense collapses around him.
One of the biggest positives about Burke is his ability in the pick-and-roll offense. Teams are utilizing the pick-and-roll more and more. Burke is at a major advantage having the kind of experience and skill he does with the pick-and-roll.
Damian Lillard was a pick-and-roll maestro in college. He had a great debut season en route to winning the Rookie of the Year Award.
Burke is a bit undersized at around 6'0", so there's the worry that he won't be able to score in the paint against opposing post players and that he'll struggle to cope with size on defense. They're legitimate concerns and hold back Burke's potential.
All in all, Burke is a complete player and can excel immediately in the NBA. Although he's not going to be one of the best ever, Burke should become an All-Star-caliber point guard in a few seasons.