NBA Draft 2011: Alec Burks and 10 Players Who Need To Bulk Up
Prospects heading into the draft can be criticized by scouts for anything imaginable, such as character concerns, extra baggage with friends, a bad work ethic or simply being too skinny.
For a guy like Alec Burks, weight is the issue. Burks is listed at 6'6" and 195 pounds, seen as almost "scary skinny."
Although Burks will look to play shooting guard in the NBA, it is obvious the youngster needs to put on some serious weight.
However, Burks isn't the only player needing to add weight. Let's take a sneak peak at 10 players who need to beef up before the draft.
10. Chandler Parsons
Parsons is known good and well for his versatility. He is good at everything, while not great at anything. Overall, his ability to fill the stat sheet is what makes him an intriguing prospect.
The Florida senior sizes in at 6’8” and 215 pounds. While plenty of guys in the NBA play with those credentials, it certainly wouldn’t hurt Parsons to gain weight.
Parsons has a Francisco Garcia/Chase Budinger swagger to his game, though he can’t shoot like either of the two. Now Parsons doesn’t need to gain significant weight necessarily. If he can maintain his quickness along with effectiveness, Parsons could be a steal in the second round of this year’s draft.
9. JaJuan Johnson
All of JaJuan Johnson’s weaknesses have to do with his weight.
He is tall enough to play power forward, yet doesn’t have the strength to do so. Johnson hasn’t put on relevant weight in his four years at Purdue. His low weight prevents him from dunking or rebounding like he should.
The most concerning thing about JaJuan Johnson’s weight is his undershirt. Now don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong about wearing an undershirt. It just appears that Johnson wears it to hide his slender frame, causing huge concerns.
Johnson certainly has many skills that make him an NBA pick. However, his weight issues will have him on the fringe of the first round come draft day.
8. Keith Benson
Keith Benson is one of the “under-the-radar” prospects in this year’s draft. Coming out of mid-major Oakland University, not a lot of attention has been paid to Benson. Now entering the draft as a sophomore, Benson will definitely be picked as a “project” guy.
Benson has a lot to his game that scouts are interested in. He has great athleticism, length, quickness, potential and is portrayed as highly coachable.
However, Benson’s huge weakness is his strength. Benson is 6’11”, 225 pounds. For being a center, Benson would get murdered down low. Oakland was viewed as "upset caliber" in this year's tournament. Unfortunately for Oakland, Benson was absolutely dominated by Texas big man Tristan Thompson.
The main reason Benson is viewed as a “project” is because of his lack of strength. Don’t expect Benson to contribute in the NBA for at least two to four years, with tons of his time spent in the weight room.
7. Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas is a “project” pick with potential that has scouts drooling. He’s long, agile, can shoot, run and plays with a high motor.
Valanciunas is 6’11” and 240 pounds. On top of that the Lithuanian big man is only 18 years old, so the possibility of him growing well over seven feet is likely.
The main reason Valanciunas is a “project” pick is because of his strength. With his young age, the time to develop the necessary strength is there.
Valanciunas won’t do much his rookie year due to raw talent. However, if he spends enough time in the weight room, he could become a perennial All-Star down the road.
6. Ravern Johnson
Unfortunately for Ravern Johnson, his game is seen as one-dimensional. He is a great three-point shooter, yet unable to do much else.
Ravern Johnson is incredibly skinny. With his slender frame, Johnson is reluctant to do anything inside the three point line. He has no rebounding skills with his lack of strength and "soft" label.
He also doesn’t attack the basket like he should. Due to his tiny frame, Johnson gets pushed around like a rag doll down low.
The biggest concern about Ravern is his chances of gaining weight. Since he is 22 years old, many scouts feel like his window for gaining strength is nearly closed.
Ravern Johnson needs to drink protein shakes like it’s his job this summer. After all, it could determine whether or not he has a job next year.
5. Jon Leuer
Leuer, a 6’10” power forward from Wisconsin, has seen his stock drop recently. A lot of that can be attributed to his frame and potential.
Since Leuer only tips the scales at 228 pounds, his potential in the post is limited. He is seen as an “inside-out” player, but his inside presence is questionable.
Leuer is definitely viewed as a finesse player who regularly beats you with his high IQ, good footwork and outside shooting ability. His three point shooting causes mismatches, while his lack of defensive prowess down low limits him.
Jon Leuer will need to bulk up and toughen up if he wants to hear his name called in the first round of this year’s draft.
4. Donatas Motiejunas
Donatas Motiejunas, a highly-skilled finesse man from Lithuania, has many traits that scouts love. He has great scoring prowess, able to do put the ball in the basket in many ways. For being seven feet tall, the big man can step out and hit threes like Andrea Bargnani. Motiejunas has quick feet, good hands and can move up and down the court very well.
However, Motiejunas comes in with major concerns. The two main worries about his game are his defensive intensity and his weight.
Since Donatas is just 225 pounds at seven feet tall, the possibility of him getting pounded down low is likely. Not only will he get pushed around down low because of his weight, but scouts say that he doesn’t appear to try like he should on defense.
Donatas will face physical power forwards like Amar’e Stoudemire, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph at the next level. If Motiejunas plays around 230 pounds next year, all of the players listed above will absolutely punish him down low.
3. Tyler Honeycutt
Small forward/shooting guard Tyler Honeycutt is commonly compared to Tayshaun Prince for many reasons. He is a great defender, has good intangibles, extremely long arms, is a solid rebounder and can knock down shots when he needs to.
Perhaps the biggest reason he is compared to Tayshaun Prince is because of their size. Honeycutt measures in at 6’8” and 185 pounds, while Prince is 6’9” and 215 pounds. Now 30 pounds of difference is huge, but Tayshaun has been in the league for eight years and has had much more time to put on weight.
If you look into Tayshaun’s first few years in the NBA, you will learn that the Pistons and Prince did everything imaginable to put some beef on the swingman. Honeycutt is likely looking at the same scenario.
Prince knows how to use his slender frame to his advantage, something Honeycutt will surely learn. Regardless, Honeycutt needs to get close to 200 by draft time.
2. Jan Vesely
Since Vesely is so slender, he is viewed as a “tweener” coming into this year’s draft. Vesely is 6’11”, 230 pounds. Considering those numbers, Vesely has the height of a center with the weight of a small forward.
This puts Vesely in a tough spot on draft day. Where will teams put him?
They could put him at power forward, where he is sure to be thrown around. While he will get dominated physically at power forward, Vesely has the quickness and height to create mismatches depending on who he matches up with.
Teams could also put him at small forward. Small forward is probably where franchises will want his talents the most, but his lack of polish is concerning. Vesely can’t really shoot, mainly scoring on “garbage” buckets and put backs.
Like everyone else in this article, Vesely needs to put on 10-20 pounds before draft night.
1. Alec Burks
Nobody in this draft needs to add some bulk worse than Alec Burks. For being so skinny, the Colorado shooting guard does so many things well.
He has great athleticism, leaping ability, dribbling skills, soft touch and high-end potential. His weakness is glaring though.
Burks will play on the perimeter, which helps his case as far as bulking up goes. However, there are more than a handful of physical shooting guards in the NBA. Guys like Dwyane Wade, Ben Gordon, Stephen Jackson and Eric Gordon would take Burks down low every time.
Working towards Burks advantage is his age. He is only 19, so the time to bulk up physically is there. If Burks comes into the combine at 200 pounds, he could see his stock rise to top five potential.