Jazz Rookie Alec Burks is in a bit of the doldrums. He has hit the proverbial rookie wall, making just 37 of his last 105 shots and 13 of his last 42 shots. This has lead to a bit of concern from some Jazz fans about Alec’s future.
For a rookie the hardest position is a wing player. Point guards have the ball in their hand so they are playing in a familiar role. Big guys don’t shrink. But wing players come into the game playing bigger, faster players and at a much different speed.
To assure you that what Burks is experiencing is nothing unusual for a young player I ran a search on basketball reference of wing rookies who shot similar to Burks as a rookie. Burks is currently shooting 42.4% from the field and 27% from three.
Those wing players who shot below 43% as a rookie include future all-stars– Carmelo Anthony, Caron Butler, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Ron Artest, etc. The list is endless.
When you put less than 10 points a game, less than 43% shooting and less than 30% three point shooting but also add his ability to get the line the list is not as star studded. The player he is most similar to in his rookie year is Doug Christie who held out a great portion of that year after being drafted by the Sonics before being traded to the Lakers. Otherwise, very few other players match the comps to Alec Burks rookie year.
The highest profile name on the list is Dirk Nowitzki. Whereas many of the names had very short careers. The other area where the comparisons aren’t very good is age, only Nowitzki and Yi Jianlian on the list were under 22 years old.
Bottom line, numerous wing players have struggled like Burks has his rookie year, it is way to early to have any concerns.