NBA Draft 2011: Alec Burks and the 5 Best Prospects in the Late Lottery
With the lack of superstar luster in this year's draft, the late lottery to the late first-round could be full of potential gems that could be the best talent in the draft.
As each team readies for draft day, here are five players who could be great players in the NBA and may come out of the late lottery picks.
5: Jordan Hamilton SF Texas
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Jordan Hamilton was Texas's No. 1 option on offense this past year, scoring 18.6 PPG on the season.
Hamilton is seen as a catch-and-shoot player, as well as a slashing SF—which is somewhat of a mix-up when it comes to traditional molds. Hamilton works well as the main cog in an offensive scheme but seems to hit some roadblocks when he isn't the go-to guy.
Remaining effective and efficient while conceding the spotlight to superior talent at the NBA level is key if you plan on having a successful career in the Association.
If Hamilton can accept a much lesser role in the NBA and improve his ball-handling skills, he may eventually develop into a legitimate scoring option on any team.
Hamilton definitely has the confidence and offensive talent to be successful, but he is going to have to work on creating high percentage shots for himself against the most talented players in the world.
4: Klay Thompson SG/SF Washington State
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Klay Thompson was a scoring machine during his three-year career at Washington State, averaging 21.6 PPG.
His numbers have proven he is a potent scorer, but his lack of versatility has him going in the mid-first round.
Thompson has many problems when it comes to the fundamentals. His lack of proper footwork and less-than-impressive dribbling ability has many NBA scouts questioning his ability to translate his scoring to the next level.
However, like many of his counterparts in the NCAA, Thompson does the majority of his scoring without dominating the ball. Working off-the-ball screens, pick-and-rolls, as well as catch-and-shoot sets is where Thompson has proven he can be effective in the NBA.
With his high-releasing sniper of a jump shot, Thompson could be a great player in any system that uses fluid off-the-ball movement.
It's truly a rarity that you find a player that has the knowledge of off-the-ball movement with such dynamic scoring.
If Thompson can improve his defense as well as basic mechanics, he could be incredibly productive and get plenty of burn in the NBA.
3: Marcus Morris PF Kansas
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Morris has developed well in his three years at Kansas, giving him a time to mature and prepare for the toughness of the NBA.
The former Jayhawk is an incredibly efficient scorer, as his numbers proved in his final year at Kansas. Morris averaged 17.2 PPG on 57 percent shooting from the field. Morris also has a nice motor and doesn't stop working when he is on the court.
Although he has the talent to go higher in the draft (possibly Top 10), Morris has a small wingspan for a power forward in the NBA as well as underwhelming athleticism. If NBA talent scouts take a closer look at Morris, they will find this shouldn't be a problem.
Unlike many players, Morris has a very polished offensive game. He has the mechanics down, and his versatility and fundamentals will overcome and physical limitations.
Morris has the talent for a Top 10 pick, but right now is reported to be getting picked in the late lottery.
2: Chris Singleton SF Florida State
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I honestly have no idea why this kid is so low on so many mock drafts.
Singleton has the ideal frame and game of a great small forward in the NBA.
His physical attributes are off the chart—he has great size for his position as well as outstanding athleticism.
In addition, this year Singleton was the go-to guy at Florida State. In that leadership role, he managed to improve his numbers in virtually every category that actually means anything.
Singleton does not do anything tremendously, but he does do everything. The former Seminole literally does everything a basketball player can do on the court, and he does it efficiently and with conviction.
Often reminding me of 2011 NBA champion Shawn Marion or Gerald Wallace, Singleton is the definition of a utility player that can do everything at any position.
One of the safest bets in the draft, this prospect will be guarantee to help any NBA team in some way.
1: Alec Burks SG Colorado
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Alec Burks is clearly the most dynamic wing-scorer in the draft.
He is dynamic, versatile and can score from anywhere on the court.
He has a killer jump shot, great ball-handling ability, and knows how to create high-percentage shots around the rim. Pair that with a soft touch and outstanding finishing ability, and Alec Burks is arguably one of the best scorers in the NCAA.
Burks played at a mediocre program in Colorado, and the defenses were always set to stop him. Burks proved his leadership by making a push for Colorado to make it back to the NCAA tournament and took the burden of the offense on his shoulders.
The key to Burks' game, though, is his isolation plays. Burks scores many of his points on isolation plays, removing any fear to NBA scouts that he is a player thriving in his system (see: Kyle Singler). Burks constantly creates his own shot with ease, and with his array of offensive moves, he is often hard to stop.
Burks has also shown improvement year-to-year, coming back with new moves and more confidence. This makes it easy for me to say that his talent will translate to the NBA—his work ethic is taking his game way above his god-given talent.
Burks will be the steal of the late lottery picks.