SB Nation is posting scouting reports of each prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. Learn more about Michigan point guard Trey Burke.
NAME: Trey Burke
AGE ON DRAFT NIGHT: 20 years, seven months
POSITION: Point guard
MEASUREMENTS: 6'1, 187 pounds, 6'5.5 wingspan, 8'1.5 standing reach
|2012 - Trey Burke
RELEVANT ADVANCED STATS: 56.9-percent true shooting percentage this season. Will Burke be able to sustain that at the next level?
SB NATION BIG BOARD POSITION: No. 6
NBA CEILING: Chris Paul
NBA FLOOR: Raymond Felton
JONATHAN TJARKS' ANALYSIS
Trey Burke is coming off a season for the ages at Michigan. As a sophomore, he was the engine of a team that reached the NCAA championship game. He won the Wooden Award as college basketball's Player of the Year, averaging 19 points, seven assists and three rebounds a game on 46-percent shooting from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line.
He might be the most complete offensive player in the draft. He can shoot from deep, get into the lane and score off the bounce, control the tempo of the game and create shots for his teammates off the drive and the pick-and-roll. There's little question that will be a good point guard in the NBA.
But can a player with his size and speed be a great one? At 6'1 in shoes and just under 190 pounds with a 6'5 wingspan, Burke is a slightly above-average athlete at the next level who will be at a size disadvantage against most starting point guards. For the most part, unless a small point guard has quickness like Tony Parker, he's unlikely to be an All-Star. Players that size have a tough time getting into the lane against longer and more athletic defenders and they have an even tougher time holding their own defensively.
One thing Burke has in common with Chris Paul, the exception that proves the rule in terms of smaller point guards, is an uncommonly long reach. That helps on both sides both of the ball, since long arms give a player a higher release point on offense and an easier time contesting shots on defense.
The key for Burke to succeed will be getting into the lane and not settling for the pull-up jumper. There aren't many players who can remain efficient while taking the least efficient shot in the game. Settling for difficult shots was a problem for Burke at Michigan, especially in Big Ten play, where he was baited into a number of sub-40-percent shooting nights. Like most small guards, he will need to figure out a way to score through the trees in the paint without taking too much of a pounding physically.
Regardless of how high his ceiling is, the team that drafts Burke should have a stable presence at the point guard position for the next decade.
DRAFT EXPRESS SCOUTING REPORT
OTHER SB NATION SCOUTING REPORTS
Aside from height, Burke has everything you would want in a prospect. He has long arms, quick feet and excellent end-to-end speed. He's one of the fastest players in the country and it's nearly impossible to stay in front of him in transition. At the same time, his 6'5'' wingspan allows him to play bigger than his size on both ends of the floor.
The thing anyone that watches Burke loves is his drive and competitiveness. He is a gamer that doesn't back down from challenges, and will find ways to get his shot off while opening things up for the other team while doing the other little things like a well timed steal or rebound.
Of course, he also has a tendency to play hero-ball, and his isolation game might not be as effective in the NBA when he is checked by bigger, more capable defenders.
Burke is really the only guy other than Noel that I could see going first overall. He was clearly the best player in college basketball this past season and had better than expected measurements at the combine. Some people thought he wouldn't even be 6 foot. He measured at about 6'1.5 and had a wingspan of over 6'5. That's big enough for him to be considered first overall. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Orlando Magic if they have a chance.
I have more reservations with Burke than I would with most players who score this highly in my models. He has a bad defensive reputation, something that is difficult to capture in the box score, is a bit too dependent on pull-up jumpers, and is smallish even for a point.
Even with that bit of negativity, Burke is clearly my favorite point guard prospect in this draft and I expect him to become a good and possibly even great NBA player. He has the quick first step and handles that, in combination with modern NBA rules, makes elite guards nearly unstoppable. He has a really nice mid-range game. He led a young team through the college tourney. He is a good prospect.
Trey Burke is like Kemba Walker with a better grip on passing in the pick-and-roll. In a lot of ways, he's reminiscent of this year's Rookie of the Year, Damian Lillard. He's a solid floor general with an affinity for finding open teammates. The 2013 National Player of the Year is also a great shooter and defender. He's only 6 feet tall, but his 6'5 wingspan gives him an edge on offense when he's finishing at the rim while allowing him to be a pest on defense. Burke has solid athleticism and body control, but his lack of size may hinder his effectiveness around the rim.
Burke's skill set proves he could turn out to be best player to come out of this draft. He shows flashes that resemble a young Chris Paul and he shows poor choices that could have him turn into a veteran D.J. Augustin. Everything considered, Burke is still the best point guard in the draft.
He brings a complete package to the table offensively. Burke is semi-athletic, intelligent, and can score and distribute at a high volume. If he remains healthy, he's an NBA starter for the foreseeable future.
Burke is a smart guard who has the ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor and create for teammates with a low turnover rate. Isn't that what you want from your starting point guard? His defensive woes are there, but Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard aren't good (or even decent) defenders yet either. I imagine that, despite what his critics say, he will find a starting spot in the NBA for years to come.
When evaluating point guards, it's essential to brood over one's ability to control the tempo, run the pick-and-roll effectively, change speeds, and shoot threes when defenders go under screens. The latter may not be as important, but it's an invaluable attribute to any offense. Point guards should not disappear in games and should be the rock of your team. Trey Burke has all of that. He has no glaring weakness and is smart enough to adjust to the professional ranks.
Trey Burke on the other hand, spends most of the time with the ball in his hands, and saw most of his success because of it. Burke was named Player of the Year after leading Michigan all the way to the Final Four. He was Michigan's primary scoring threat, but he was also a willing passer, as evidenced by his 37.3-persent assist rate. More impressive for how much time he had the ball in his hands is that his turnover rate is surprisingly low at just 11.9 percent. Burke actually reminds me a little bit of current Kings starting point guard Isaiah Thomas because he can score from anywhere, is devastating in the pick-and-roll, and is proven as a leader.
For more coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA Draft 2013 section.