Alec Burks and 5 Rookies Who Will Be Major Players for Years to Come

Daniel Christian@@dchris_hawksCorrespondent IIIJuly 29, 2011

Alec Burks and 5 Rookies Who Will Be Major Players for Years to Come

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    Experts and analysts alike have said it, so I'm sure you've heard it. This draft class is the weakest we've seen in years.

    Sure, you can't pinpoint a surefire superstar out of this year's class, but it doesn't matter. This is a strong draft class as role players are in abundance.

    Owners and GMs are in over there heads, picking missing pieces in the second round like Andrew Goudelock, Kyle Singler or Shelvin Mack. 

    No matter what's been said, make no mistake about it, there was value in June's draft, and it ran deep.

    This is not a list predicting the top five Rookie of the Year candidates. The goal of this list is to examine and determine which incoming rookies will be the most successful 10 years from now.

    It's to figure out who, when it's all said and done, will be the face of this year's draft class.

5. Kenneth Faried

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    He's an absolute rebounding machine. 

    It's safe to say that, especially knowing that last season he surpassed Tim Duncan as the all time NCAA leading rebounder. He's a physical, defensive monster, one who is the key to unlocking a fringe contender's dream.

    He can take a team looking for an identity, toughness and give it to them.

    There is a legitimate chance he becomes the best rebounder since Dennis Rodman.

    Faried has a future in the NBA because he has a set purpose. He's mastered something completely. The team knows what to expect out of him, and anything else is an added bonus.

    He'll obviously improve his offensive capabilities, but how much remains to be seen. He'll clearly work toward developing legitimate post moves.

    Between that, his defensive ability and his outlandish rebounding skills, Faried's future in the NBA looks bright.   

4. Kyrie Irving

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    He's been compared to Chris Paul, but let me say right now, he won't be as good.

    Sure, he's lightning quick with a killer first step, is a great floor general and consistently makes all the right plays.

    In terms of sheer passing ability and just knowing where people are going to be at the exact instant they're there, well, Irving just isn't at that level. He's also not at the level Paul was coming into the NBA.

    Just because he's not the next Chris Paul however, doesn't mean he doesn't have a bright future. He has a solid jump shot with range out to the three-point line, and his speed is sure to ignite some wonderful fast break plays. 

    He's a heady player on a team with something to prove. He'll make the smart plays, he'll set people up nicely and he'll push the tempo.

    He's a pure point guard, and he's one that is sure to have a long career as long as that sensitive toe holds up.

3. Derrick Williams

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    He's an athletic 3/4-combo who can dunk out of his mind, can face up an drive and has a pretty solid jump shot. When has the league not had room for a player like that?

    Williams is seriously an electrifying athlete, and he's sure to make an instant impact in Minnesota. 

    He's got the full package offensively as his versatility as an inside-outside presence is one to be feared, along with his solid decision making. He won't turn it over or take a bad shot, and he'll get you your possession's worth every time down the court.

    Defensively, he's quick for his position and is an above-average shot blocker. He's aggressive on both ends of the court, and that will serve him well, giving him a long and fruitful NBA career.  

2. Marshon Brooks

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    I can't be the only one who sees Marshon Brooks as a potential star in this league.

    He is a scorer in the word's purest form. He can shoot, drive and finish. He's quick and has an array moves that make him such a deadly perimeter threat. 

    Brooks also couldn't have found a better fit than the New Jersey Nets. He's sure to get plenty of touches with Williams facilitating to him, and it's not all that far fetched to think that he could be the Nets leading scorer in a year or two. 

1. Alec Burks

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    Maybe I'm stretching this a little too much, but I believe that Alec Burks is going to be the best player to come out of this class.

    He has superb athleticism and leaping ability as a 6'6" shooting guard. His jump shot is still a work in progress but serviceable nonetheless. He can take you off the dribble or kill you in just about every single way defensively.

    He's crafty with the ball and gets to the rim easily as an excellent slasher, and he's always been one to finish around the rim.

    Utah has been in search of a 2-guard for some time now, and they just may have worked out their long-term solution.