Monday, June 13, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Alec Burks and 10 Prospects For the Golden State Warriors

Now that the NBA Finals are over and the Dallas Mavericks have prevailed over LeBron James and the evil empire, the NBA Draft can start to heat up. But with just over one week left until the big day, there is still no set order to the draft outside of the top four picks.

We can speculate all we want, but in this next week it will become a little clearer as to who will be picked where.

With the no. 11 pick in the NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors may have an idea who will be available, but there are several players that have the possibility of their draft stock rising and falling within the next nine days.

The Warriors know this much: They need a backcourt defender and a big man during this draft. But who they ultimately choose with the no. 11 pick may just be the best available player, given the current circumstances.

Here are several prospects that have the possibility to be available at the no. 11 pick and would fit nicely into the Golden State system.

Alec Burks

Position: SG
Height: 6-6
Weight: 193
Age: 19
School: Colorado

Burks' draft stock has been rising as of late, but how could it not?

Teams that know this draft may be a tad bit shallow in the talent department cannot pass up one of the most athletic players in this draft.

He is a born scorer, averaging 17 PPG and 20 PPG in his freshman and sophomore seasons at Colorado. He also displays terrific leadership for being just 19-years-old.

The downside is his game may take awhile to translate to the NBA, but his athletic build and ability will not take long to make this prospect into a bonified scorer.

If the Warriors choose to trade Monta Ellis, which does not seem likely now with Mark Jackson's comments, Burks could fit well right along side Stephen Curry in the backcourt. Either way, he may be the bets available player at no. 11.

Chris Singleton

Position: SF
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 230
Age: 21
School: Florida State

Alongside Burks, Singleton will be one of the best available players when the Warriors get their turn on June 23.

Singlton fits into the Warriors' system a glove. He has every intangible that Golden State needs and wants.

What stands out to most is his defense, which the Warriors will make a key focus in this draft, and through assistant coach Mike Malone during the season. Singleton can guard anyone from a guard to a power forward, making him extremely versatile on the floor.

His length has other teams drooling, as well.

On the Warriors, Singleton can immediately contribute with his length and size. At 6'9", the small forward could impact the Warriors in that he gives them immediate size, which is another key focus for Golden State this offseason.

Did I mention he is NBA-ready?

Jordan Hamilton

Position: SF
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 229
Age: 20
School: Texas

Hamilton can score, we all saw that in this past college basketball season. But can he score at the next level?

Good question. Hence the question mark for Hamilton as a worthy top-15 pick.

What the University of Texas stud can do is have a really good workout in front of NBA scouts.

Hamilton has impressed in the offseason workouts so far, showing his shooting ability and range, which could be essential with his 6'9" frame.

With his size at the small forward position, Hamilton could fit very nice in the Warriors' system.

Marcus Morris

Position: PF
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 230
Age: 21
School: Kansas

This seems to be everyone's consensus as to who the Warriors should pick at no. 11.

Morris has size, which Golden State needs, and good shooting range to complement.

What worries most is that he could be just another undersized power forward, which is the likeliest scenario if you are asking me.

Morris does not have the physical skills to blow away an NBA forward, nor does anything really stand out, other than he could help the Warriors on the boards.

Although I feel the Warriors could do much better than pick Morris at no. 11, the Warriors could solidify a decent frontcourt with the Kansas alumnus under the rim.

Klay Thompson

Position: PG
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 206
Age: 21
School: Washington St.

If you have not noticed, Thompson's stock is as high as anyone in this draft right now.

It may have a little to do with the fact that he is 6'7" with one of the better ball-handling skills in this draft.

In the NBA, Thompson will be switching between the point guard and shooting guard roles, but teams will be drafting him for his versatility and raw shooting ability.

In his junior season at Washington State, Thompson averaged 21 PPG, while shooting 43 percent from long-range.

He will be right in the Warriors' wheelhouse at no. 11, whether he will be a reach at that point is yet to be decided.

Did I mention Jerry West may have a thing for him?

Kenneth Faried

Position: PF
Height: 6'8"
Weight: 225
Age: 21
School: Morehead State

Yes, Faried is a reach for the Warriors at no. 11, that does not take away from his ability to be a decent player in the NBA one day.

He is a born rebounder with energy through the roof.

The comparison has been made to the San Antonio Spurs' DeJuan Blair, who is also a little undersized for his position but had a very productive rookie season despite that.

Sure, the Warriors could use him, but he is not worth taking at no. 11. Chad Ford has him going to the Portland Trailblazers at no. 21.

Tristan Thompson

Position: PF
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 228
Age: 20
School: Texas

Thompson is intriguing if you are the Warriors. He will most likely be available at no. 11 and exudes potential with his 6'9" lanky body and natural offensive awareness.

The 20-year-old can play both the 3 and 4 in the NBA, but will have a tough time getting used to the NBA game, given that he may not match-up well with other 3's and 4's until he beefs up.

If he does develop physically, Thompson can be a star in the NBA, which is why he is so intriguing to some teams.

Bismack Biyombo

Position: PF
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 243
Age: 18
Country: Congo

Biyombo is all about his freakish physical build. At 6'9" with a wingspan of 7'7", he can reach 9'3" into the air standing still.

Those characteristics alone put Biyombo into the top-10 of an extremely shallow draft, but the fact that he is so raw has teams worrying.

Not much is known about Biyombo besides the fact he is God's gift to the rim. Although he is a little undersized for his position, his wingspan allows him to play much bigger, and his age exudes potential when he hits an NBA court.

Jonas Valanciunas

Position: PF
Height: 6'10"
Weight: 230
Age: 19
Country: Lithuania

Arguably the most talented European player in this draft, Valanciunas is another player that exudes potential.

The 6'10" and only 19-years-old, he has the ability to be developed into a fine player at the power forward position.

He may be a project for a couple years, which is why teams may pass on him early in this draft. Given the opportunity, the Warriors will not be one of those teams, as he is a steal at no. 11.

Jan Vesely

Position: PF
Height: 6'11"
Weight: 240
Age: 21
Country: Czech Republic

The most athletic player in this draft comes from the Czech Republic and he is ready to play now.

There is much debate as to where Vesely will eventually land, as he has been predicted anywhere from the fifth pick to the 12th pick. Whoever picks him, that team gets a jolt of energy from their new length SF/PF with potential through roof.

For now, Vesely lives above the rim, but his jump shot is coming along and could do some damage a few years down the road.

If Vesely's undecided draft stock does plunge him to no. 11 on June 23, the Warriors' franchise will take a giant leap forward.

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