Cowbell Kingdom Prospect Profile: Alec Burks, Klay Thompson and Co.

Cowbell Kingdom Prospect Profile: Alec Burks, Klay Thompson and Co.
Left - Klay Thompson, Right - Alec Burks

Another day, another six.  At their training facility today, the Kings matched-up Alec Burks and Klay Thompson, the two highest-rated shooting guards in the 2011 NBA Draft.  This wasn’t the first time these two have worked out against each other in a pre-draft workout, but it was the first time the Kings had two lottery-bound prospects who play the same position go head-to-head.  Burks and Thompson headlined a group that also included small forwards Ravern Johnson and Jamine Peterson, as well as big men Greg Smith and Alex Stepheson.

Video and analysis after the jump.


Klay Thompson – Washington State

If the Kings were drafting late  in thelottery, Klay Thompson would probably be one of their targets.  Thompson looks like your classic  Petrie multi-dimensional player – great shooter, good rebounder and willing passer. Thompson will be tested by Colorado’s Alec Burks, who is more athletic but less of a shooter.  This should be a fun match-up as both players will be asked to initiate the offense since there are no point guards at this workout.


  • Height:  6′-5.75″ w/o shoes; 6′-7.25″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  206-pounds; 8% body fat.
  • Wingspan:  6′-9″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-7.5″


  • Vertical:  26.5″ no step vert.; 31.5″ max vert.
  • Strength: 5 reps on bench press (185-pounds).
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 10.99 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.24 seconds.

Thoughts on Klay Thompson:

Now this was a nice match-up.  Although Burks’ team got the best of Thompson’s, the junior out of Washington State put on a nice shooting display.  Thompson has plenty of range and solid handles, but he isn’t the playmaker Burks is.  You can watch the post workout video of Thompson, but he didn’t exactly seem jazzed to be in front of the media, and that was before Sam Amick of pushed him on his college arrest issue.  Thompson compared himself to Kevin Martin but I didn’t really see that.  He is stronger than Martin but he doesn’t draw contact like Martin does.  I would consider him more a pure shooter than the scorer Martin is.


Alec Burks – Colorado

Considered another mid-to-late lottery-pick, Burks comes in as one of my favorite prospects.  Another jack-of-all-trades, the sophomore swing man shot only 29.2% from three point range last season, but that was down from his 35.2% as a freshman and on only 96 attempts.  Draft Express put Burks ceiling at Brandon Roy and his overall game closely resembles last year’s number two pick Evan Turner.  Although the Kings have Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton to play the two, I could see Burks playing the wing pretty easily and developing into a nice secondary ball handler, as well as a scoring option.  


  • Height:  6′-5″ w/o shoes; 6′-6″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  193-pounds; 5.1% body fat.
  • Wingspan:  6′-10″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-7.5″


  • Vertical:  29.0″ no step vert.; 36.0″ max vert.
  • Strength: 5 reps on bench press (185-pounds).
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 10.96 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.17 seconds.

Thoughts on Alec Burks:

Burks did not disappoint.  I have some questions as to how he might fit with the Kings, but the smooth. dribbling athlete out of Colorado did just about everything right in his workout.  Known for his ability to drive, Burks showed that his time working out with Chauncey Billups might have improved his perimeter game as well.  Burks and Thompson went toe to toe, with Burks completely controlling his team from a point/two position.  He showed that he could, at worst-case, control an offense for short stints and if his jumper is for real, he should be a big-time scorer at the pro-level.  Like Thompson, Burks seemed disengaged during the interview process but this is pretty close to the home stretch and both of these players have done a ton of traveling over the last two weeks.  Burks compared himself to a young T-Mac but I saw a bigger Gilbert Arenas – especially in the way he sets up his man with the dribble.


Small Forwards

Ravern Johnson – Mississippi State

The senior out of Mississippi is another one of those players the Kings have brought in that aren’t expected to get their name called on draft night.  Johnson does a lot right, averaging nearly 18 points a game while shooting nearly 41% from three point range but it’s unclear if he’s done enough to warrant a late night call from the commissioner.  


  • Height:  6′-5.25″ w/o shoes; N/A w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  170-pounds; N/A body fat.
  • Wingspan:  6′-8.5″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-5.5″


  • Vertical: 32.0″ no step vert; N/A max vert.
  • Strength: N/A.
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 11.85 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.18 seconds.

Thoughts on Ravern Johnson:

Ravern was a victim of playing in a three-on-three game where two of the players were trying to duke it out.  Add to this that he was charged with covering Jamine Peterson, who out-weighs him by 70-pounds and it’s easy to see where he might get lost in the shuffle.  Ravern is pencil-thin, but wiry in Quincy Douby kind of way.  Although he didn’t come over for an interview, Johnson did spend a good 15-20 minutes with Coach Pete Carril, who was working on his shot.

Jamine Peterson – NBDL New Mexico T-Birds

Jamine Peterson stuck around for two days, working out yesterday too. After a nice sophomore season at Providence, Peterson left the college game and tried his hand at the NBDL. A dominant rebounder for his size, Peterson fared well in the NBDL, improving his perimeter and free throw shooting to get ready for a jump to the next level.


  • Height: 6′-4.5″ w/o shoes; 6’5.5″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight: 239-pounds; 10.7 body fat.
  • Wingspan: 6′-10.5″
  • Standing Reach: 8′-6.5″


  • Vertical: 30.5″ no step vert; 37.5″ max vert.
  • Strength: N/A.
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 9.16 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 4.02 seconds.

Thoughts on Jamine Peterson:

Yesterday I compared Jamine Peterson to Reggie Evans.  I will now modify that statement by saying that Jamine Peterson is the wing version of Reggie Evans.  Peterson played with Burks, a more willing passer than Thompson in my opinion, and he took advantage.  Burks and Peterson played well together, teaming up to beat the Thompson’s group pretty handily.  The highlight of the workout was Jamine Peterson stealing a ball, going coast-to-coast and hammering down a two-handed, double-pump, reverse jam.


Power Forwards/Centers

Greg Smith – Fresno State

Few players in the 2011 NBA draft are as physically imposing as Greg Smith. At 6′-10 with an insane 7′-3″ reach, this dude is a rock solid 251-pounds and 6.4% body fat. Do I need to write that again?  251-pounds and 6.4% body fat.  The NBA already has one Greg Smith and teams around the league are going to think they are seeing his twin when Smith number two walks on the floor.  Oh yeah, I forgot, this Smith has 12″ wide hands.  He will face of against another of the drafts big, big men in Alex Stepheson out of USC in a battle of the bulk.


  • Height:  6′-8.5″ w/o shoes; 6′-10″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  251-pounds; 6.4% body fat.
  • Wingspan:  7′-3″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-11.5″


  • Vertical: 28.5″ no step vert; 35.5″ max vert.
  • Strength: N/A.
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 8.33; 3/4 court sprint- 4.01 seconds.

Thoughts on Greg Smith:

Here is the good part – Smith can set a screen. Unfortunately, the two big men were mere pawns for Burks and Thompson.  Saying that, holy cow, these guys are monsters and the Kings should try to land one of them.  This was not the Jordan Williams workout of earlier this week.  Think bigger Jon Brockman.  Smith is nearly four years younger than Stepheson which is probably why he is slated to go late in the second round and Stepheson isn’t.

Alex Stepheson – USC

Stepheson is an older prospect following his transfer after his sophomore season from North Carolina to USC.  It’s unfortunate that Stepheson wasn’t invited to the standard combine, leaving his numbers incomplete.  We can speculate that Stepheson is nearly 6′-10″ in shoes but I would really like to see how that 33.5″ vertical translates to max vert.


  • Height:  6′-8.25″ w/o shoes; N/A w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  246-pounds; N/A body fat.
  • Wingspan:  7′-0″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-8.25″


  • Vertical:  33.5″ no step vert; N/A max vert.
  • Strength: N/A.
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 12.86 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.48 seconds.

Thoughts on Alex Stepheson:

The Kings could use an enforcer and either Smith or Stepheson would fit the bill.  We didn’t get a chance to interview either player but physically, they are tanks.  Stepheson is not projected to be picked in the draft, but his size and athleticism are intriguing.


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