NBA Draft 2011: Why Enes Kanter and Alec Burks Will Both Thrive with Utah Jazz

Brandon DennisCorrespondent IJune 25, 2011

The Jazz had two lottery picks for the first time in franchise history. They used those picks to select Enes Kanter from Turkey and Alec Burks from Colorado.

The general consensus among experts and Jazz fans alike is Kanter was a solid pick. Personally, I was hoping for Brandon Knight before the draft, but the more I think about it the more I believe Kanter was the best pick for the Jazz. I was originally against picking Kanter because of Derrick Favors. Favors is the future of the franchise and I worried Kanter may hinder his development.

I now see Kanter as a benefit to Favors' game as they will complement each other nicely. Favors is an ultra-athletic defensive-minded interior defender with limited offensive skill. Kanter has a solid offensive skill set including a jump shot, but lacks defense. See where I am going with this?

Favors' strengths are Kanter's weaknesses and Favors' weaknesses are Kantor's strengths. They both are effective at rebounding and should blend together perfectly. Plus, I love that Kanter is obviously a bit of a gym rat as he demonstrated with his 6 percent body fat despite not playing organized basketball in over a year.

I do have two worries with Kanter, however. The first is his knees as he has had problems in the past. That is the fastest road to bust in the league. There is a long list of big men with potential who did not make it in the league because of knee problems. Hopefully the year off allowed them to get back to 100 percent.

My second worry is he picked zero for his number. I am not going to lie, this made me cringe a little as I had flashbacks of Ostertag and his Fred Flinstone tattooed calf. Someone should have pulled Kanter aside and explained the situation, but hopefully he is able to expel any memories of Ostertag from my mind.

The Burks pick is a bit less of a consensus. Most experts called it a solid pick, but a few were worried about his lack of deep range. Fans were all over the place. If you wanted Jimmer in a Jazz uniform you most likely hated the pick. If you did not want Jimmer, you most likely appreciated it.

I personally loved the pick. Burks has good size and is an excellent athlete. He can get to the rim at will and is a good finisher around the basket. My favorite part of his game is the chip on the shoulder he plays with. This chip may just bring that intensity back to Utah the Jazz have lacked since the retirement of Matt Harpring.

I am not too concerned with his low percentage from three-point range. Yes, he shot 29 percent for the season, but I do not think it is telling of his shooting ability. First he had a good free throw percentage at 82.5 percent. This indicates he has good form on his shot and can be consistent. 

The second and biggest reason I am not concerned is he only attempted a total of 96 three-point shots. That is not many at all. Jimmer attempted over 300. Knight attempted 231, Walker attempted 227 and Klay Thompson attempted 246. Burks attempted nowhere near the number of threes as the players drafted directly ahead of him, which may not accurately show his ability from deep.

The fact he only had 96 attempts from deep, yet was the go to option for the Buffaloes shows his attack mentality. Why should he settle for a three-point attempt when he can take his man of the dribble and in turn get a high-percentage shot? Or if he was unable to create for himself he demonstrated good passing ability.

I loved what the Jazz did in the draft as Kanter should mesh perfectly with Favors, which could end up being a lethal tandem in a couple years. I see Burks being the steal of the draft when all is said and done. Working with Hornacek will improve his range and when he adds that to his arsenal he will be very tough to defend.