KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10: Alec Burks #10 of the Colorado Buffaloes stands on the court against the Kansas State Wildcats during their quarterfinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Now that the NBA Draft order has been set by last night's lottery, we can all prepare for the endless onslaught of mock drafts and predictions not more than a month after we got finished with all of the NFL Draft talk. Luckily for Buffalo fans, we finally have a reason to pay attention again, as Alec Burks is poised to become the Colorado's first draft pick since 2004 and only their sixth since 1990 (fun piece of draft history I discovered while researching this story, in 1981 the Buffs had three players selected but it was most likely because there was at least nine rounds that year...).
Now that the first mock's with the actual draft order have been released, let's take a look at where a few of the experts have Alec landing.
Burks isn't a great shooter, but he's a fine scorer and could be a great long-term fit with Brandon Jennings. John Salmons didn't get the job done last season, and is in his early 30s. Milwaukee might instead go big in an attempt to settle the frontcourt alongside Andrew Bogut. It's a wide open draft for the Bucks. Also: Bucks. Burks. Bucks. Burks. Canny like X-Men.
Chad Ford, ESPN ($)
Pick #10 to the Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are set at center and point guard but could really use help at the 2, 3 or 4 position. Of the different needs, the 2-guard position may be the most pressing. Burks still needs to improve his shooting, but he is a very athletic guard who can get to the basket.
The Jazz need to juice up their offense, and Burks could help do that off the bench in a big way. He is a creative scorer and slasher whose shot continues to improve.
Jonathan Givony, Draft Express
Pick #12 to the Utah Jazz
Utah has a glaring hole at shooting guard, which will only get worse with C.J. Miles approaching free agency and Raja Bell turning 35 later this year. Adding an athletic, creative ball-handler like Burks to the mix would be a good fit.
So you have two at #10 to the Bucks and two at #12 to the Jazz. While I, for one, am going to be happy for Alec no matter where he goes, I would MUCH rather see him in Milwaukee. On a personal level, I am just not a fan of the Jazz. On a logical level, landing in Wisconsin would be great for him. The Bucks are a team that should be much improved next season if Andrew Bogut can return to his pre-injury level of play and it would be great for Burks to have a point guard like Brandon Jennings getting him the ball, especially if his shot continues to improve.
No matter where he lands, his finding success in the NBA could be huge for a Colorado program that looks to be on the rise. Hopefully he can carry the torch for a new line of former CU players in the NBA when Chauncey Billups eventually decides to call it a career.