The Jazz have opened extension talks with both Enes Kanter and Alec Burks, Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. GM Dennis Lindsey revealed the development to reporters at the team’s media day. Previously, Lindsey has been non-committal in addressing the future of the fourth-year players, and negotiations don’t necessarily mean the team is enthusiastically trying to retain either for big money.
Both Kanter and Burks were lottery picks in the 2011 draft, but haven’t progressed rapidly enough to be sure-fire extension candidates. In fact, our own Chuck Myron tabbed both as longshots to come to terms with Utah before the October 31 deadline in the Hoops Rumors Rookie Scale Extension Primer.
While Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward have both been cemented as long-term pieces for the Jazz to build around, Kanter and Burks reflect the team’s identity in many ways. At 22- and 23-years-old, respectively, both have shown flashes of promise and earned bigger roles, as the team has experienced growing pains and tumbled down the standings in recent years. It will be interesting to see how Utah envisions Burks, a shooting guard, fitting in with the young backcourt of Trey Burke and Dante Exum. Utah’s fronctourt is a bit less crowded, with Rudy Gobert, more raw at this stage than Kanter, the only other big apart from Favors with as high a ceiling.