NBA Draft Analysis: Trey Burke vs C.J. McCollum for the Phoenix Suns


At the number 5 spot, the more sure fire players will likely be off the board. Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, and Otto Porter are difficult players to envision not being able to find solid roles in the NBA.

However if they are all gone, which is likely, we are left with a different tier of players. Alex Len, Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Bennett are viable options but each have their own serious question marks. Cody Zeller and Michael Carter Williams are good players but what's their ceiling and do we want to use our highest draft pick in recent history on players who likely will be not much better than mediocre?

So I decided to take a deeper look at Trey Burke and C.J. McCollum. Both are likely to be available when the Suns select their player. Neither player is a position of need. Yet a case can be made that they may be the best player available at that draft position.

Before my research, (mostly I read articles, watched highlights, and watched scouting videos) I viewed them as relatively interchangeable players. Both are smaller, offense oriented players so in that sense I wasn't wrong. But they are very different players.

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum is listed just under 6'3. He is VERY intelligent and VERY crafty. He uses hesitation and a killer crossover move to get past his defender. His moves are methodical and deliberate almost as if analyzing his next move and the defense with each dribble. He is a very nice shooter off the catch and off the dribble, making him a valuable asset with the ball in his hands and off the ball. Defensively, he is active off the ball getting steals, blocks and rebounds.

THE BAD: Without elite athleticism and without good size he struggled finishing at the rim. He does counter this with a knack for getting to the free throw line, but it is a problem that should only be magnified at the next level. From what I saw, he was ATROCIOUS guarding his man on the ball, getting beat time and time again by players who quite frankly weren't all that fast.

MY TAKE: He should be an asset at the next level. At 6'3 he'd have to play as a combo guard alongside the Dragon. Personally, I like the idea of adding the shooting he would bring. But if he struggles with the length of NBA defenders he may be limited at the next level. I like his game, but am not sure if it translates well or poorly if at all. My opinion dropped on him as I can't help but think we could likely find a player that contributes in those areas at number 30.

Trey Burke

Trey Burke is listed at just under 6'. He is a great shooter as well and has range well beyond the NBA three point line. He is a speedy guard and has a knack for the big moment. Watching him, my first thought was "this kid can play in the League!" When he gets to the rim, I saw him finish cleanly. He has a good midrange game. He also has legit PG skills and can hit his man on the PnR or the shooter off the drive. I have a hard time seeing him not contribute in the league. At worst, he should be able to find a niche as an instant offense off the bench. Though he should be better than that.

THE BAD: His shot selection can be spotty. He's a volume scorer and while he draws the attention of the defense with the ball in his hands, I didn't see much off the ball ability from him. His size is also a big concern, as he will likely always be a liability on defense.

MY TAKE: I don't really see much of a role for him on our team. Unlike McCollum he can't play the off guard, and quite frankly I don't believe he will be good enough to move Dragon to the off guard position permanently

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