The 6th man position is a very important role for any team. Guys like Manu Ginobli, Reggie Jackson and Jamal Crawford all embrace the role and do it very well. Those guys could start on many teams, but they relish in their role as the first guy off the bench. Can Alec be the same way or is it time for him to show why he needs to start?
This is a very difficult position for me as I love Alec Burks and what he brings to the Jazz. He gained a lot of confidence over the last few months of the season. He is also one of the best in the NBA at finishing around the hoop. The question is can he take that next jump and provide reason to use him primarily from the get go? Alec finished in most 4th quarters last year stating basically that he can do it against the starters as well as the bench of the opposing team.
For me the question is if Dante Exum can take over as 6th man for this next year while he accolades to the NBA. If he can that gives the Jazz the necessary scoring off the bench to allow Alec to be one of the starters. In most previews for next season that I have read, they have Alec coming off the bench and Dante starting. That is great and all and Dante is supposed to be the guy the Jazz have desperately needed, but I don’t see that happening right from the start. I see Dante earning his time, even with a new coach and getting the feel for the game first.
It’s not clear whether or not Alec can be a starter on a good team, but he will get to show what he can do on the Jazz this year and hopefully he makes the jump and put the pressure on management to sign him past this year. I like Alec in the 6th role and if he isn’t what the Jazz are looking for as a starter then hopefully Alec will supplant himself fully into the 6th man that the Jazz and fans can count on.