I think the pelicans need to trade Grevis Vasquez, Eric Gordon, and Robin Lopez in a four team deal. First, we trade Eric Gordon and next year's first round pick to the pacers, who will then give us danny granger. Then Indiana gives Tyler Hansborough to Charlotte and we give Charlotte the sixth pick, in which they give us the fourth pick in return. Then, we trade the fourth pick in the draft, robin Lopez, and Grevis Vasquez for Greg Monroe of the detriot pistons. this acquisition would maintain a reasonable amount of cap space to acquire a free agent. Also, with Louisiana natives with Greg Monroe and Danny Granger, they would be automatic fan favorites. The only thing that would make this trade better is if we recieved the piston's 8th pick.
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Sixth Pick Tournament Round Two: CJ McCollum vs. Trey Burke
Mason Ginsberg and Michael McNamara represent two of the top point guards in this year’s draft as Michigan’s Trey Burke and Lehigh’s CJ McCollum go head-to-head in round two of the Sixth Pick Tournament.
The Case for CJ McCollum (McNamara)
Better. Bigger. Quicker. Stronger.
No, this isn’t a sequel to a Kanye West song. This is my rationale for taking CJ McCollum over Trey Burke in this years’ draft. Now that we have the chorus, let’s get into the verses.
In a vacuum, is CJ McCollum a better player than Trey Burke? I will admit that this is debatable. But when it comes to deciding on which player is better for the type of team the Pelicans want to build going forward, I don’t think there is any doubt that CJ McCollum is the better prospect. Dell and Monty want to build a versatile offense that emphasises ball movement, players with the ability to play multiple positions, and exceptional shooting. Basically they want to recreate the Spurs, and who can argue with that plan?
If you watch the Spurs on offense, they employ multiple ball handlers with a lot of off the ball movement from their guards and wings. Tony Parker is off the ball as much as he is handling the ball, if not more. He is coming off of down screens, setting picks, running from wing to wing, and even spotting up in the corner from time to time. When he does get the ball on the wing, he is lethal in the pick and roll as a mid-range shooter or a guy who can take it into the paint and finish. If the Pelicans want a point guard more like Tony Parker (which you know they do), then McCollum fits that mold to a ‘T’. If they wanted a more ball dominant point guard who can shoot but not finish as effectively in the paint, then I think they would be all over Trey Burke, but they’re not.
I could insert my own thoughts here, but honestly Draft Express says it best:
One area which Burke may struggle at the NBA level is with his ability to finish plays inside the paint in traffic. He converts just 52% of his attempts around the basket in the half-court, a fairly average rate, as he’s hampered at times by his lack of size and strength against bigger, longer and more athletic frontcourt players. He tends to settle for tough runners and floaters in the lane, which he finds mixed success with, and needs to get much better at using his left hand around the rim, which he seemingly avoids at all costs.
Meanwhile, McCollum finished at a 56.8% clip and got to the line more than six times per game. He also was a much better scorer in transition and in the pick and roll. In fact, McCollum was the most efficient point guard prospect in this draft by quite a wide margin. His TS% was 63% (57% for Burke), McCollum averaged 1.10 points per play (1.01 for Burke), was a better 2-point shooter, 3-point shooter, and FT shooter, and scored 10 more points (Per 40 minutes Pace Adjusted) on just 4 more shots. That’s unreal!
Look, this isn’t a matchup where one guy is a stud and the other is a bum. These are two very good players, but McCollum is just better, especially when you consider how the Pelicans want to build their team moving forward.
Bigger does not equal better. But when you are deciding between two guys and one guy is better AND bigger, how can you not choose that guy? McCollum is two inches and ten pounds bigger with a longer wingspan, all important things for a point guard in this new era of bigger, faster, stronger point guards. McCollum’s added size and wingspan will help him out on both ends as it will help him get into the lane on offense and prevent big point guards from posting him up or shooting over him on defense. Also, don’t underestimate the impact that 82 games has on the body. Both guys play a physical brand of basketball, so every inch and pound helps, as does the additional strength that McCollum brings to the table.
An average lane agility time for a point guard is 11.15 seconds. CJ McCollum ran 11.02, Trey Burke came in at 11.20. McCollum was slightly above average, Burke slightly below. Again, we are not talking about a stud against a bum, we are dissecting the difference between a ‘B’ and a ‘B+’. Burke is not going to be a defensive liability on most nights on the defensive end like a certain Most Improved Player runner-up, but he won’t be as good as the bigger, stronger, quicker McCollum. And again, don’t underestimate the impact added size, length, and agility has on closing out on shooters. You look at the Spurs defense and they are all about helping and rotating. The Pelicans play the same way, but unfortunately they do not have the talent to execute the defense at the same level. The bigger and more agile your defenders are, the more space they can cover. So not only does McCollum’s physical attributes help him in his man-to-man defense, but it helps the Pelicans cover more space and contest better when they rotate.
13 to 3. Now, I know that people don’t really focus on the bench press at the NBA combine, but when you are comparing two prospects, how can you overlook the fact that one guy put that bar up 13 times and the other guy just got 3? Again, we are trying to find a point guard who can get into the paint and finish. We are trying to find a point guard who can set screens and fight through traffic off the ball. Of course strength comes into play when you are asking your point guard to perform those duties.
Putting it All Together
Maybe you agree with the Pelicans philosophy of building a team like the Spurs. Maybe you don’t. But regardless of what you and I think, this is the direction they are heading and when I look around the league and see what wins nowadays, I see teams with multiple facilitators and guards adept at playing off the ball and spotting up from deep. Size, length, strength, and quickness also helps out on the defensive end. It is not the sole reason you take one guy over another, but as I have emphasized in this piece, if a guy does all the things your team wants better AND he has those measurables, how can you say no?
I am asking YOU, how can you say no? Vote CJ McCollum.
The Case for Trey Burke (Ginsberg)
Before diving into a breakdown of what makes Trey Burke such an intriguing prospect, let’s start with a quote from Conrad Kaczmarek, editor of SB Nation’s Fear the Sword and contributor to HP Basketball:
Burke is really the only guy other than Noel that I could see going first overall. He was clearly the best player in college basketball this past season and had better than expected measurements at the combine. Some people thought he wouldn’t even be 6-foot. He measured at about 6’1.5″ and had a wingspan of over 6’5″. That’s big enough for him to be considered first overall. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Orlando Magic take him if they get the first pick.
There is a ton of analysis available throughout the internet on Burke, but the quote above sums most of it up pretty perfectly. When the worst thing that people are saying about a player is that “he measured better than expected at the combine”, it’s a pretty clear indication of just how few negatives there are to his game. In fact, if you want to see just how strongly his sophomore season trumps C.J. McCollum’s, simply scroll down to the end of this post. Those two stat lines may be all the convincing that is needed.
One thing that needs to be clear before moving on: Trey Burke is NOT a poor defensive player, and the seemingly widespread assumption that he would hurt the Pelicans on that end of the court is nothing short of silly. Umair Khan of Bullets Forever gives a much more realistic breakdown of Burke’s defensive potential:
Burke should continue to add strength to an already solid frame in order to fight over screens and prevent bigger guards from posting him up. He’s improved markedly since coming to Michigan as a defender, understanding angles better and funneling his man into help. He’s also a plus rebounder due to his tough nature and tireless motor.
Given the information above as well as his impressive 6’5” wingspan and 1.6 steals per game, it is close to impossible to let Burke’s perceived defensive limitations be a reason to refrain from drafting him, especially given his tremendous potential on the offensive end of the court. It’s important to note just how much he can bring to an NBA team with the ball in his hands, as he is the most talented offensive player in this draft (yes, more talented than the one-dimensional CJ McCollum).
Burke averaged nearly 7 assists per 36 minutes last season while maintaining an assist/turnover ratio of over 3. He sustained an unbelievably low turnover percentage (11.9%) given how much the ball was in his hands. Over the past six years, no freshman or sophomore point guard from a major conference with more than five win shares and over five assists per game turned the ball over less frequently than Burke. The closest player to him in that respect is Ty Lawson – pretty solid company. He boasted the best PER in the entire nation (including all mid-major programs) among guards who averaged at least one assist per game. He posted an effective field goal percentage of 53% and a true shooting percentage of 57% while taking over 14 shots per game; the only other freshman or sophomore guard to score with that kind of efficiency despite such a high volume since 2006 is Stephen Curry, who Burke trumps from a ball distribution perspective.
How Burke Measures Up
As I said in Burke’s first round demolition of Steven Adams, his ability to both score and distribute at an elite level while keeping his turnovers to a minimum is pretty unique. In fact, last week, Rohan over on At the Hive fantastically displayed just how spectacular Burke’s numbers were this past season in comparison to the final collegiate seasons of some of the NBA’s current elite point guards:
How Burke Fits with the Pelicans
First, it’s important to squash the notion that Dell Demps and Monty Williams don’t think that Burke’s style of play would fit this Pelicans team. As of this past weekend, the team only had one individual player workout scheduled – Trey Burke. If the Pelicans’ brass didn’t believe in his ability to help the team, they wouldn’t have made him priority number one as far as workouts go.
So specifically, how does he fit?
Pick & Roll machine. The same thing holds true for Burke as for Lillard during last year’s tenth pick tournament – utter excitement over the thought of a Burke/Davis pick & roll combo. Draft Express called Burke “arguably the best pick and roll point guard in the NCAA this season.” They went on to say “the fact that he can make shots from anywhere on the floor, find the open man instantaneously, or get to the rim makes him extremely difficult to game-plan against.” Both he and Davis are above average at their respective positions at shooting, passing, and dribbling, which provide all the tools for a devastating tandem. Better yet, the two will both enter the 2013-14 season at just 20 years of age, all of which gives plenty of reason to think that the two could dominate together in this aspect of the game for the next 10-15 years.
Excellence in both transition and in half court sets. Burke likes to push the tempo when he has the defense on their heels, but knows when to pull up and wait for his offense to get set (which his minuscule turnover rate suggests). His dribbling skills are incredible, as he possesses plenty of different moves (centered around his unbelievable ability to change speeds) to help him both score in transition as well as get by his man when the game slows down.
Not afraid to put the team on his back. So often down the stretch last season, the Hornets struggled to find that player who would step up in late game situations. With a player like Burke, a lot of those worries are alleviated. That’s not to say that he will dominate the ball and take the last shot no matter what; merely that Burke is not afraid to assume responsibility and take charge of the offense when the pressure is at its highest, as he is confident in his ability to either score or put his teammates in position to do the same.
Low risk. The Pelicans have built a very solid core, but to take that next step, they cannot afford any more mistakes. Though Austin Rivers did improve as last season progressed, there is no question that he has underwhelmed to this point, and the team cannot afford another disappointing draft pick. Fortunately for them, Trey Burke may be the safest pick in this entire draft. When discussing him, most draft analysts’ only wonder is whether he can become an all-star caliber point guard, not whether or not he can succeed in the NBA (most take for granted that the answer to the latter question is yes). As Jonathan Tjarks of SB Nation expressed it, “regardless of how high his ceiling is, the team that drafts Burke should have a stable presence at the point guard position for the next decade.” At this point, apart from a game-changing small forward that simply does not exist in this draft, there is no greater need for the Pelicans than that Tjarks’ description of Burke.
Why not McCollum?
This argument cannot end without explaining why drafting CJ McCollum would be a tremendous misstep by the Pelicans’ front office. Listed below are some of the main reasons why (the best of which may have been saved for last).
Defense. The ultimate hypocritical statement would be to select McCollum over Burke while citing Burke’s defense as the reason why, because the two are VERY similar defensively. Like Burke, they both give solid effort defensively, but don’t have that “next level” athleticism. Both players have wingspan within an inch of each other but are not super quick laterally. They both also struggle to fight through screens. The only major difference between the two is that Burke has been defending future first round picks like Michael Carter-Williams (who he held to just 2 points on 1-6 shooting and 5 turnovers in Michigan’s Final Four victory over Syracuse). McCollum has been defending guards from powerhouse programs like Fairleigh Dickinson and Quinnipac. Are those even real schools?
Pick & Roll difficulty. While Trey Burke thrives in pick and roll situations, McCollum tends to struggle. He struggles to make the right decision, coughing the ball up on a whopping 21.7% of possessions as the pick and roll ball-handler last season according to Draft Express despite playing against far weaker competition than Burke in the Patriot League.
SG skills in PG body. While he has a strong basketball IQ, McCollum fails to display many of the typical point guard attributes in his game. Unfortunately, as NBAdraft.net indicates, “at 6’3”, his primary position will need to be at the point.” This statement may need to be modified further; he could be an effective combo guard off the bench, but with his size and skill set, there is simply no place for him in any starting lineup. He doesn’t have the instincts to start at PG (2.7 assists & 2.4 turnovers per game last season) and he doesn’t have the size or defensive ability to start at SG. Jonathan Tjarks elaborates on this notion, saying “he will need to become a pass-first player to start at the next level” (something he has never shown the capacity to do), “he has much less experience running a team than either Damian Lillard or Stephen Curry” and “he has a hard time impacting the game with the ball in his hands.”
Finishing at the rim. McCollum has done a great job of getting to the free throw line, but with his strength of schedule, so could a lot of players. The truth lies in his field goal percentage at the rim; when defenders stay disciplined (like most will in the NBA), how did he perform? The numbers say not well. He converted just 56% of his shots near the rim this past season and only 49% the year before that (and due to his injury in his senior season, the 49% rate represents a much larger sample size). At the next level, McCollum is going to have to be able to finish at the rim consistently since he won’t earn nearly as many trips to the line, and he hasn’t shown the ability to do that.
Age. When push comes to shove, age is just an important of a factor as anything when evaluating a player’s draft status. McCollum has played two more college seasons than Burke, giving him what amounts to a two year head start on his development. To level the playing field, let’s compare the two players’ sophomore seasons:
Burke: 53.0% eFG%, 37.3% AST%, 11.9% TOR, 3.02 AST/TO ratio
McCollum: 44.7% eFG%, 15.7% AST%, 12.0% TOR, 0.75 AST/TO ratio
The difference between those two stat lines is ENORMOUS, despite the immense difference in strength of schedule. McCollum turned the ball over more times than he assisted in his sophomore season, not to mention the ocean-sized gap in effective field goal percentage (FG% weighted for 3-point accuracy) between the two.
If this is still a debate, then there’s nothing else that can be done. Trey Burke isn’t just a better option than C.J. McCollum (and pretty obviously so); he’ll almost certainly be the best option available with that 6th pick.
I just wanted to say great arguments from both guys. I came in with my mind made up for McCollum and now I can't decdide. I think I am going to vote for Burke strictly because Mason made the (slightly) better argument.
I like the information Ginsberg provided. Made me like Burke much more and quieted a lot of issues I had with him.
Does watching the Spurs last night change anyone's thinking? CJM is clearly the better spot up 3pt shooter, plus he has a well developed midrange and dribble drive game.
Many people believe Burke is a better playmaker. That is a myth. McCollum has a better "playmaker rating."
What is this playmaker rating? Thanks to B/R's Adam Fromal:
PlayRtg = USG*(PPG+2.26*APG-TPG)/(FGA+0.44*FTA+APG+TPG) where USG = Usage Rate, APG = Assists Per Game, PPG = Points Per Game, TPG = Turnovers Per Game, FGA = Field Goal Attempts Per Game, FTA = Free Throw Attempts Per Game
If you are skeptical because of CJ's shortened season, McCollum had a 36.56 playmaker rating last year.
Here is the full article.
I still feel that the biggest assets going for McCollum are Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard. It's hard not to make the comparison and say "those two worked out great". I like McCollum but I'm not quite as high on him as I was for Curry or Lillard. I was ridiculously high on Lillard last year. I think McCollum will be fine in the NBA though.
Burke has my vote though. Leadership can't be taught. He has the ability to be a leader when it's needed. I'm an Ohio kid, that is a diehard Ohio State fan. I hate Michigan. Everything about them. I despise their teams and typically their players. Yet, I can't dislike Burke. When I watched him, I wanted to dislike him, he's a Michigan guy. However, I just can't do it. He has flaws. But, come on. Who in this draft doesn't. The fact is, a little risk is coming with every single pick in this draft. So, I've spent my time more focused on what they bring to the table, and Burke brings a lot. He is very strong in the pick and roll. He limits his turnovers. He can shoot when he needs to shoot. He can distribute when that is needed. The guy can play the game and play it well.
I watch most Big Ten basketball games. I watched Burke as a Freshman and joked with friends about how he dribbled the air out of the ball and we were all glad Matta didn't recruit him and decided Aaron Craft was good enough for our point guard position. Yet, I spent this season thinking "Man. I wish he would have recruited him harder." The amount of progress the TWENTY year old made was enormous. Amongst my friends, Burke went from a joke at the bar to the best player in college basketball. And he was doing this against elite talent. His defense could use improvement but seeing how much he developed from his Freshman year to his Sophomore campaign makes me realize this guy is going to work his tail off to keep being better. Don't know about you, but I want that character and determination in a New Orleans uniform. That simple.
Man, it looks like Burke will win this one, but the more I think of it, the more it seems like McCollum would be the perfect pick if Porter is off the board.
He and Gordon would play together absolutely perfectly. With McCollum's ability to spot up and Gordon's need for the ball in his hands, just imagine a pick and roll featuring Gordon attacking, Davis rolling to the hoop, and McCollum spotting up for a three. DEADLY. Opposing teams will have to pick their poison with regards to defending Gordon and McCollum, I think the chances of both of them having a bad game at the same time will be extremely rare. Definitely a syrong candidate for the pick. I'm even starting to think I like him more than Porter now! I'll call Porter my 1 and McCollum my 1A. Man I can't wait for the draft.
Using McCollum's numbers from this season is pretty disingenuous.
Baylor, Robert Morris, Pitt, Fairfield, Penn, Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, Fair Dickinson, Fordham, St. Francis (PA), Bryant U, VCU.
Only two of those teams (Pitt and VCU) made the tournament. There just aren't a lot of good teams on that list for anyone to draw much from the 4% difference in conversion rate at the rim. The 49% rate in 2011-2012 suggests that the 56% number this year is inflated by sample size and inferior competition. As Mason pointed out, comparing the two players as sophomores leads to a significant advantage for Burke in nearly all statistical categories, including shooting.
The two players seem rather close even comparing this year when considering the talent disparity of competition. If 22 year old McCollum is only marginally better than 20 year old Burke (when 20 year old Burke appears significantly better than 20 year old McCollum) I think Burke is the better choice.
Both are very good players and I hope we land one of them. I would prefer CJ due to his bigger size, shooting, and basketball IQ. But you can't go wrong with Burke. I trust Dell as a gm and would proudly support whoever we draft. Let's go Pels!
I came into this not knowing who I'd vote for. I've been trying to find reasons to like Burke as much as I see from places like Pelicans Report and At the Hive to no avail and am a huge fan of McNamara's writing (even when I disagree, a compliment I can't give to the likes of many writers even when I do agree with them). I assumed that he'd pull out all the stops and convince me but I actually think Mason out-argued him and for the first time I'm starting to warm to the idea of Burke. Or maybe its just Stockholm Syndrome after reading too much Rohan.
So congrats Mason, I'm picking Burke. I hate how so many of the arguments for him I read are the same arguments people could make for a player like (insert any 20+ppg volume shooting guard over the last 15 years here) and I don't like blind statistics because I think that although they attempt to represent the story accurately they often fail to do so (defensive metrics are nearly non-existent). But you made a case while compiling the on the court type of game and stats, off the court personality, and projections summed together rather than basing your argument around cheap cliches and CP3 comparisons.
Burke. CJM played against lesser talent and thus explains why his numbers are inflated. Burke is the guy most scouts and media see going first. There is usually a reason for that.
If we wanted a small, quick guard who can't finish at the rim, we should have drafted Austin Rivers.
Burke even though they are both very good players. He has heart/desire which cannot be taught. Monty and Dell want a play maker and someone who can put the ball in the hoop and I happy to think he fits that "ice in his veins" type player who wants to take the big shot. Each player has deficiencies but I think Burke would benefit from the Pels environment and teaching. I also think that with GV coming off the bench, we wouldn't lose that much at the guard position between the first and second units.
Burke has taken a significant jump in one year. Another jump like that we are taking about a fringe perennial all-star player. He produced in the best conference in college. I worry about guys like McCollum dominating lesser talent.
I voted for McCollum because my biggest fear with Burke is that he becomes an ESPN player (rather drop 40 pts and still lose the game, than make the right decisions on the court and get everyone involved in order to win). Remember Steph Curry in that Knicks game when he went off, or Damian Lillard this year. I just think McCollum is the type of player Monty and Dell will like to have. IMO.
I voted for Burke becuase I saw some clutch plays out of him when the game was on the line. I think about all the late game struggles out of this team to score. It seemed like nobody wanted to shoot the ball. Gordon and Vasquez both struggled in late game situations. Burke seemed to thrive in those situations last season at Michigan.
For me I voted Burke!..It's his leadership passion desire and will that Separates Him from the rest of the Prospects in this draft.. Not to mention That Marketing Him With AD For The Next 10 Years Will boost ticket sales for this Fanbase
I voted for CJM but you made it some hard for me between CJM or Burke because both of this guys or somewhat the same i like Burke work ethic but i like CJM scoring ablity24pts per game he remind me of Damion Lilliard.coming from a small school but can play in a higher level.
Went with Burke. I'm not as concerned about his defense as most are. I feel he could be a decent defender if he asserts himself more. He certainly looked capable when he did (see the end of the second game against Michigan State).
I expect this one to be neck-and-neck till the end. They each do many things well. So it may just come down to who's the apple of your eye.
For me, I went with McCollum.
I'm no stats expert (somehow I think the crew ay breport are not eithe but it seems like usage figures way too much in this equation. Does being the only guy on your squad who shoots the ball make you a better playmaker?
However, if Burke is not available, I'm not going to be disappointed with McCollum. Especially if the options are McCollum, Len, Bennett and Zeller. McCollum all the way in that case.
@Jared Ennis "I trust Dell as a gm and would proudly support whoever we draft." I love talking bout how I think players will fit and how we think they pan out and all that but this quote is important. None of us come close to being the evaluation of talent Dell has at his disposal and I happily defer my judgement to him on draft night that he will make the best decisions for the franchise given the knowledge he has.
McCollum has no chance to beat Burke. Porter is the only one who does. I will save the "stops" for then
This lesser talent is a double edged sword. CJM destroyed Duke, and some guard named Austin Rivers guarding CJM, in the 2012 NCAAs. (I think CJM scored 30 and almost half of Lehigh's points.) This is CJM, and some nobody's, versus a Duke starting 5 with three NBA 1st rounders (two lottery picks) and a second rounder. So what does that make CJM and Rivers, talent-wise?
@bobmurrell Rivers is 6' 4" bro.
He's actually taller than McCollum.
Rivers definitely fits better in a rotation of with Burke and Gordon than McCollum and Gordon. Can't have three combo guards all playing together
@bobmurrell Rivers will be fine. He can get to the basket. He just needs to learn how to finish. Getting stronger will benefit him. I see him becoming our Manu.
Rivers Needs To Move Back To SG.. His experiment at point guard was a failure.but give the kid time he will be just fine..Burke on the other hand is a leader And plays the game with Emotions something that This team doesn't have much of outside of AD
@daThRONe and if it was a concern with Lillard last year, it should be a concern with McCollum this year.
Say what you will about Burke, but he shone bright in the biggest stage this year.
It's what makes this choice so tough.
@kmatt404 Didn't the Warriors lose that game when Stephen Curry went off this year?
Curious as to how that's a concern about Burke. Everything that I hear about him is his passion against losing. It way a lot of people compare him to Chris Paul.
CJM or Burke would be fine.If they stay in ten years because you and i know the trend players become bigger than the city they were drafted and end up in a bigger market after all Durant marriage with OKC could be over in a few years.
@Michael McNamara Can't even let me have a compliment! I'll go crawl back under my rock now.
Y, been saying that something seriously has to give if we pick one of these as we already have 4 combo guards in our rotation
@daThRONe nobody likes to lose
No denying that...I Just see BiGGER Marketing with Burke Davis rivers and Anderson as the future of this team but that is just IMO
True but Burke plays with a chip on his Shoulder Always proving his doubters wrong reminds me Of another player that they said was too small to play Allen iverson
And at the end of the day that's really all that matters!..It's All Aboit Pelicans Basketball!.. To Qoute Charles Barkley " Anything less would be Uncivilized"! Lets Go Pels!!!