Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Which Team Will Draft Trey Burke On Thursday?

Photo Credit: ESPN
With the NCAA and NBA seasons now wrapped up, the basketball focus on the nation is now fully turned to the NBA Draft this Thursday.  This is a day that is both adored and hated by fans across the nation.  Some of the most exciting moments in the NBA have started here, but some of the worst blunders have started here as well.  Just take a look at the 2007 and 2008 drafts.  Greg Oden (now considered a colossal flop) was taken #1 in 2007, but Derrick Rose (2011 NBA MVP) was taken #1 in the next season.  It's become almost unpredictable, which makes the night incredibly exciting.

For Michigan, there are two prospects that have the focus of the fans.  First and foremost is point guard Trey Burke who won the National Player of the Year last season at the college level (the other is Tim Hardaway, Jr).  Many Wolverine fans are looking for a big night from Burke, but what will ultimately happen?  Will the NBA teams respond to the hype and select Burke in the first few picks or will they agree with the criticisms and drop him lower in the selections?  Let's take a look at what the experts are predicting:
  • Chad Ford (ESPN) - #8 on Big Board
  • Matt Moore (CBS) - #6 by New Orleans
  • Gary Parrish (CBS) - #2 by Orlando
  • NBADraft.net - #6 by New Orleans
  • Draft Express (DE) - #6 by New Orleans
I'm not going to go through every prediction, but the popular logic is that Trey Burke will be going one of three places: Orlando, New Orleans, or Detroit.  If he goes anywhere beyond the Pistons it will certainly be one of the biggest draft night falls in recent memory.  All three of these teams would make for interesting landing spots for Burke.  First, Orlando could use a point guard and being drafted #2 would say a lot about their confidence in Burke for the future.  New Orleans does have Austin Rivers on the roster, but having Burke and Rivers in the backcourt could give them a dynamic lineup similar to the one seen from the Golden State Warriors in recent years and one that could lead the Pelicans (yes, they are now the Pelicans) to a bright future.  Finally, the Pistons would be an exciting drafting spot for most Michigan fans as it would allow Burke to remain in the state of Michigan and also give the team a talented prospect.

It's not hard to see the Pistons as the best landing spot for Burke with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe already on the roster, but any of these places would be alright.  New Orleans could turn into something special with Rivers and Anthony Davis to potentially play alongside Burke.  Can you imagine Burke feeding Davis down-low or running offensive players into Davis' waiting hands on defense?  It's a fun thing to imagine.  My suspicion is that Burke will end up in New Orleans.  The NBA Draft can be nearly impossible to predict, but it seems like the agents and "experts" are talking Burke down to replace him with guys like Alex Len (Maryland) and Anthony Bennett (UNLV) because of their "potential" (that wasn't all that visible in their college days).  Either way, look for Burke to wind up in one of these three places to begin what should likely be a successful NBA career.

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