June 16, 2014
|Post-dunk face.|Alex Kirk
, New Mexico, Junior, 7'0 250lbs2013/14 stats:
32.0 mpg, 13.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 1.1 apg, 0.4 spg, 2.6 fpg, 1.8 TOpg, 49.0% FG, 66.7% FT, 21.4% 3PT
Kirk was a slightly unexpected early entry candidate, likely to go undrafted or a late second rounder at best. That said, I never begrudge anyone declaring. He is certainly ready to earn some money.
Plenty big enough for the centre position, with long arms and a wide frame, Kirk is a productive player on both ends of the court, relied upon on both. He has the makings of being an inside-outside scorer yet would increasingly rather be an outside one, a decent mid-range jumpshot in the process of developing range beyond that, a player who prefers the spot-up to the post-up. Kirk really does value his jumpshot quite a lot - indeed, too much - yet he at least makes himself an option in pick and pop plays, moves without the ball to get open, and can shoot a fallaway from either the post or the wing. He also is an option in occasional pick and roll plays, something that will serve him well should he head to Europe. Not a consistent post-up option, Kirk can nevertheless finish around the basket with his size and hook shots with both hands (although struggles much more when matched up against players as big as he, likely because this is something he has very rarely actually experienced), and while he struggles with double teams, he can nevertheless finish through contact, and pass both into and out of the post.
Defensively, Kirk has reined in his foul rates over the years, and is a presence in the post with his size and long arms. He can be outmuscled and outfought despite this size, especially on the glass where he somewhat underwhelms, and he is not fast or explosive, which is more of a problem whenever called upon to defend the perimeter. However, Kirk's timing on shot blocks around the rim is good, and the reduced foul rates brought about by better defensive awareness and patience help him play big minutes in this role, as opposed to infrequent bursts.
Kirk is one of the better players on the list, and could just about sneak into the back end of the NBA one day. If he does not, the European market will certainly accommodate him.
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