The three-way trade between the Hawks, Jazz, and Pacers that will send George Hill to Utah isn’t yet official, but Utah is already making plans to account for the team’s crowded depth chart at the point guard position. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Jazz have made former ninth overall pick Trey Burke available in trade talks.
When Utah’s acquisition of Hill was first reported, I speculated that the move may push Burke to the trade block, and I was far from the only one, so Stein’s report doesn’t come as a real surprise. If the Jazz can find a taker for the former Michigan star, they’ll likely move forward with Hill as the starting point guard and Dante Exum as his backup. Shelvin Mack, Raul Neto, and second-round draftees Marcus Paige and Tyrone Wallace could all be vying for roster spots and roles as well.
[RELATED: Utah Jazz depth chart at RosterResource.com]
Burke, who entered the league in 2013, was Utah’s primary starter at point guard in his first two seasons, averaging 12.8 points and 5.0 assists per game over the course of 146 contests. However, he struggled with his shot in his first two years in the NBA, making just 37.4% of his field-goal attempts, including 32.4% from beyond the arc.
The Jazz moved Burke into a reserve role in 2015/16, reducing his minutes, and he responded by upping his FG% to 41.3% — he’s also still just 23 years old, so there’s room for further growth. Still, with Exum around, and Hill now in the picture as well, the team doesn’t appear to have Burke in its long-term plans.
If he’s dealt during the 2016/17 league year, Burke’s $3.387MM salary shouldn’t be too difficult for potential suitors to accommodate. He’s eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and could become a restricted free agent in 2017 if he’s not extended.