NBA Draft Projection: Which Team Could Potentially Land NC State’s 275Lb Star DJ Burns Jr.?

Published 04/01/2024, 1:29 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

A few weeks ago, there was little hope for NC State’s NCAA Tournament prospects. To win the ACC title and punch their ticket to the Big Dance, the Wolfpack had to win five games in five days. 275-pound DJ Burns Jr. won over college basketball fans worldwide by leading the Wolfpack to the ACC Tournament title.  By being the only No.11 seed in the Sweet 16, Burns and the Wolfpack beat the odds and advanced to the Elite Eight for a matchup after receiving an automatic bid. Against No. 4 Duke, Burns’ 29 points on 13 of 19 shooting helped NC State pose a 76-64 win. The Wolfpack advanced to the Final Four for the first time since winning the national championship in 1983.

Grabbing someone’s attention is one thing, but it’s even more admirable when the field legends make you a talk topic just before the draft season begins. So, as the Wolfpack advance to the Final Four, does 6-foot-9 Burns’ late-season breakout merit consideration for the NBA Draft?

What NBA uniform could look hot on NC State’s DJ Burns Jr.


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Tall, muscular athletes that both step block shots and make three-pointers, such as Oklahoma City forward Chet Holmgren and Spurs standout Victor Wembanyana, have found favor in the NBA. Make space because if the shoe fits, wear it Cinderella moment is here for Burns approved by Kevin O’Connor recently. Julius Randle of the New York Knicks, Burns’ physical and positional twin, and another name for 3-hit. DJ Burns Jr. might be the person who convinces NYK to join him.

USA Today via Reuters

The Portland Trail Blazers may be able to bring back Zach Randolph, a.k.a. “Z-Bo,” the former nasty rebounder who played a similar scoring style to Burns, posting opponents and then making hook shots and short jumpers over them. Using his dominant left hand, Oklahoma City Thunder may make better use of NC State’s one-man army than merely a rim defender. The Miami Heat have a reputation for its big men, who make a noticeable physical presence on the court. When Miami needs someone physically strong to force teams to work when they attempt to break through the paint, Burns could easily step in and fill the role.


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The 23-year-old senior forward for NCS is more than simply a beast taking a better position but makes himself available for another entry pass, has good court vision, and has a knack for creating plays for his teammates even when he is doubled. What he is doing for the Wolfpack this year is sure to get the attention of NBA scouts. Don’t you agree? But, hold on, there are some cons to the big boy. Although Burns is a gifted offensive player, he is not a shooter when playing beyond the paint. Furthermore, even though he is extremely strong and graceful when attacking, this does not translate to defense. Burns’s quick hands aren’t enough to produce steals or blocks, so his defense is generally lacking. Hence, making space among NBA players who move considerably more quickly won’t get any simpler. Now, what do you think? If the collegiate report card helps, here’s who DJ Burns Jr. played for during his NCAA career.


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All the jersey colors NC State star wore

Burns redshirted his first season at Tennessee. After that, he went to Winthrop, where he started 67 of the 90 games played between 2019 and 2022. He eventually decided to return to Winthrop after declaring for the NBA draft in 2021. Burns said in May 2022 that he would play in the Atlantic Coast Conference at NC State. NC State defeated North Carolina in the championship game on Mach 17 to win the 2024 Atlantic Coast Conference men’s playoff tournament. The NC State Wolfpack won their first ACC Tournament game since 1987 with this victory.


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In what many call an upsetting game, Burns finished with 28 points and 7 assists, earning him the title of ACC Tournament MVP early season. Now, Moonwalking into the Final Four, he led NC State to a stunning 76-64 victory against No. 4 Duke. With the countdown to the national title and NBA draft pursuits, do you think DJ Burns Jr. will have an NBA team showing?

Continue Reading Who are DJ Burns Jr’s Parents? A Look Into the Family of the NC State Superstar Who Led the Upset vs Duke


Written by:

Divya Purohit


One take at a time

Divya Purohit is a senior Olympics Sports writer for EssentiallySports. She majorly covers gymnastics, alpine skiing, and horse racing. While bringing the detailed stats of gymnastics to the American readers, she covered two prominent events - the 2023 Xfinity Gymnastics Championships, and the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav