If you haven't heard of Deonte Burton it's okay. I've been following the draft pretty closely and haven't heard of him until 2 weeks ago. After I heard that the Knicks are trying to buy a 2nd Round Pick I went to see if there were anyone worth getting excited about. But considering that Isaiah Austin is a better point guard than Raymond Felton I specifically went to see if there were any good point guards in the 2nd Round. Then I came across Deonte Burton a 6'1 point guard from Nevada University.
Before I get started there's 2 Deonte Burton's, the point guard from Nevada and the shooting guard from Marquette. Were talking about the one from Nevada. Deonte Burton is straight out of Compton, has a high character and is a hardworker. Played 4 years and improved every year at Nevada. He played in a really disfunctional system with absolutely no help around him. Nevada went 15-17 and was rarely on National television, Burton went under the radar because of his team if he had played in a bigger school like Duke or Kansas he would be a lottery pick. But instead he went to Nevada where the coach basically said "We'll just do Iso-Deonte and have everybody stretch the floor!" But nobody could stretch the floor and the opposing team just packed the paint and almost begged Deonte to pass to his teammates that would lead to a brick. This led to Deonte ballhogging and taking bad shots which increased his turnovers and lowered his field goal percentage. People saw this and said he's an averaged sized point guard that wants to play shooting guard, this led him to having a second round grade, but I'm here to tell you the truth about Deonte Burton.
Deonte Burton has an NBA Ready body weighing in at 6'1 190 with a really strong upperbody. As you can see with the video above is one of the most athletic players at the point guard position, makes highlight poster dunks and alleyoops with ease, finishes with authority as well. He is the most physical point guard in the draft, is prime Deron Williams like in finishing and gets an And 1 everygame. Is actually pretty quick despite his big body has multiple of moves to beat the defender and get to the bucket, making him a tough cover with his strength+quickness+hops.
Attacking the Rim:
As I said above attacking the rim is Deonte Burton's specialty with an aggressive mentality. He can get to the rim at will and has a very quick first step. According to Draftexpress has a 66% finishing percentage near the rim which is the 2nd best in terms of point guards, attacking also gets him a lot of free throws as well. Can use both right and left hand with a solid handle and has multiple moves to get to the rim. He can also run out and get buckets in transition. Very good in Pick and Roll as well.
Despite low shooting percentages when Deonte was open off the dribble and catch and shoot he was a good shooter. Can create space off the dribble in Isos and in the Pick and Roll. Low shooting percentages was because of bad shot selection which I will get into later. Shot well in the Combine.
Defense & Intensity:
This is what I like about Deonte Burton the most, in the golden age of point guards you need someone who can hold their own. Deonte Burton does that and more, Burton has very good lateral quickness and big or tall point guards cannot post him up. Despite playing in a small conference Burton played very good defense in the combine against the best point guards in the country. His Intensity makes him fun to watch. Comparing his effort to Raymond Felton would be like comparing Iso-Melo to the Spurs offense. Makes hustle plays all game, dives on the floor, chasedown blocks, charges etc. you get the point.
Before I go into his weaknesses most of his weaknesses were partly because of his teammates. Now I'm not saying that he gets a free pass from me but it is something that if he proves in Private workouts it shouldn't be a weakness and should make his stock skyrocket.
Pure Point Guard:
As I said in the overview his teammates were horrible! But even so even when his teammates were wide open and he was double teamed he still tried to make a play, which would lead to a costly turnover or a bad shot. Here's why I don't think it will be a weakness in the NBA. 1. He won't get double teamed as often so the turnovers and bad shots will go significantly down. 2. He will be able to trust his teammates for the first time in his life and it will make him feel like he's in heaven. If he gets a good coach and has shooters to space the floor he will be fine, but if he keeps the same mentality then he will drive you crazy kind of like Russell Westbrook.
His shot selection is more of a problem than his point guard skills but it still is fixable. Much of his shot selection would be because of his lack of teammates. But other times he try to go one on four on a fastbreak, or a pullup 3 with 5 seconds left in the shot clock. I wouldn't call him as chaotic as Russell Westbrook so it's not a lost cause. If he gets with a good coach he should learn when and when not to shoot, even with a bad coach he will improve because of his teammates.
The reason I like Deonte Burton so much is because he reminds me of one of my favorite players of all time Baron Davis. You can just see it with the beard, the athletecism, and the strength. He is an energy guy and can get the crowd going.
So that's it. For those who didn't know about Deonte Burton I hoped this article helped you out and made you a Deonte Burton fan just like me. Could he be just another guy? Yeah, the transition between the Mountain West and the NBA is significant, to many bad shots and turnovers could get him to ride the bench. But for a second round pick he is an amazing value and could be the Knicks starting point guard for the next 15 years. His energy and hustle will make him a fan favorite, and with his humble personality it's hard not to root for him. Here's a Draftexpress video if you want to see him with your own eyes.