Trey Burke, No. 6 (Mock Draft)
New Orleans has a new 6-foot-nothin’ PG.
by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz
New Orleans has a pretty sweet team on paper. Greivis Vasquez had a breakout season at point guard. Eric Gordon is a dynamic scorer when he’s on the floor. Al-Farouq Aminu plays quality defense and rebounds pretty well on the wing. Some combination of Anthony Davis, sharp-shooter Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez make up the team’s post guys. Austin Rivers had a poor rookie season, but could develop into a nice scoring option. In a weird way, this team doesn’t need much.
Looking deeper, though, they have some problems (as most 27-55 teams do). Here are two: 1. Since 2009, Gordon has played in 169 games and missed 143. 2. Rivers is young, but he is also very bad.
Enter Trey Burke.
With the sixth pick in the 2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans select…
Trey Burke from Michigan.
In his sophomore season at Michigan, the 6-foot-nothin’ Burke averaged roughly 18 points, 7 dimes and 3 boards per game. He was great in the NCAA Tournament, icing VCU with 18 points and 7 dimes before going ballistic against Kansas and finishing with 23 and 10. He also scored 15 with 7 assists in a win against Florida, and dropped 24 against Louisville in the title game. I think that stuff matters. If I were a GM, I’d want a guy who played his best ball when the competition, intensity and importance of every possession were way higher than usual.
In a Draft devoid of sure things, Burke looks like a safe bet to be an instant offense guy. If all goes according to plan, he could be much more. If/when Gordon inevitably misses one game early in the season, only for it to turn into nine games and then a report that he’s six weeks away from being able to perform basketball-related activities, the Hornets will be left with nobody who can get his own shot. Burke could be that guy. I think he and the 6-6 Vasquez could form a great backcourt (offensively, anyway).
It’s an insurance pick. It’s insurance against Gordon playing as many games over the rest of his contract (three years) as he has in the past three years (107). It’s insurance against Rivers being a bust (he’s well on his way). It’s insurance against Aminu, a to-be unrestricted free agent, taking his talents elsewhere and leaving NOLA perilously thin on the wing. It’s insurance against Vasquez taking a step back after his four-steps-forward ’12-13 campaign.
The selection wouldn’t wave the white flag on Rivers, either. There are a bunch of moves New Orleans could make with the 6-3, 215 Gordon if Rivers pans out and they want to give him more minutes. Shift Gordon in the lineup, bring him off the bench to keep his knees fresh, trade him—whatever. I say you take the best player available now and figure the rest out later. If Rivers develops into a star and Gordon doesn’t turn into Brandon Roy 2.0, then What To Do With Burke will be a great problem to have.
The Pelicans don’t have a huge hole that Burke would fill, rather a bunch of medium-size holes that he covers in one fell swoop. Not to mention I love the idea of a potential relationship between Burke and the city of New Orleans. This feels like a perfect match.
|2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft|