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Trey Burke

Trey Burke: Utah Held Me Back

Wizards guard Trey Burke is not only happy to be out of Utah, he is accusing the Jazz of trying to ruin his NBA career. In an interview posted on the Fox Sports Radio 1340 website, Burke makes some strong charges against his former team.

“They couldn’t break me,” Burke said. “That’s what they tried to do. .. They gave me DNPs. Everybody asked me ‘What’s going on? Why are you not playing?’ There’s a reason why everybody is asking me that. I just kept my head up. I was a great team guy. Everybody can vouch for that over there. I never really complained. I worked hard every day. I waited for my opportunity.”

Burke was traded to Washington in July at a bargain price, with the Wizards giving up just a 2021 second-round pick in return. There was mutual frustration in Utah, with the Jazz expecting more from a player who was taken at No. 9 in the 2013 draft, and Burke feeling like he never got the opportunity he deserved.

Many people expected Burke to be Utah’s starting point guard last season, especially with Dante Exum sidelined for the year with a torn ACL. Instead, the Jazz gave the job to Raul Neto and traded for Shelvin Mack at the deadline, keeping Burke as a reserve. He got into 64 games, all off the bench, averaging 10.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per night.

Burke now hopes to revive his career in Washington and is grateful for the fresh start. “I feel like I’m in a much better situation,” he said. “I’m on a team that can definitely compete for the playoffs. … As far as the transition, it was great. It was a great move. I feel like Washington is definitely a better fit for me.”

Southeast Notes: Beal, Wall, Bazemore, Augustin

Bradley Beal called out his Wizards teammates for a lack of defensive effort after Saturday’s loss in Orlando, relays Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. The fifth-year shooting guard, who signed a five-year extension over the summer worth nearly $128MM, hinted that lineup changes could be coming soon if things don’t change. “The biggest thing we can control is our defense and that’s all about effort and wanting to play,” Beal said. “I think coach [Scott Brooks] is pretty fed up with the way we’re playing and I think he’s going to start playing guys who want to play and guys who want to show up.” The Magic were able to make up a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter when reserves Trey Burke, Marcus Thornton, Kelly Oubre and Jason Smith were on the court together, so those are probably the players Beal is talking about.

There’s more this morning from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards are being careful with point guard John Wall after two offseason knee surgeries, which will put a greater burden on Beal, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Wall sat out Saturday’s game, which was the second night of a back-to-back, a situation where Wall will likely be held out as a precaution, at least for a while. Washington has three more back-to-backs on the schedule in November and two in December. “Trey and Tomas [Satoransky] got to step up as well and lead us as point guards,” Beal said. “I just got to be aggressive, play my game. Not take over and feel like I’ve got to do everything. I can’t do it by myself.”
  • Hawks guard Kent Bazemore is off to a rocky start after signing a four-year, $70MM contract this summer, notes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. He shot just 28% from the floor during the team’s first five games and is trying to find other ways to contribute until his scoring touch returns. “That’s one of the main reasons they brought me back, my tenacity and my love and passion for the game,” Bazemore said. “At times I’ve gotten a little down on myself. I’m human. It’s good that I can finally recognize that there is a time and place for everything and the middle of a game is not the time to get down on yourself.”
  • D.J. Augustin‘s scoring has been a pleasant early-season surprise for the Magic, writes John Denton of NBA.com. The veteran point guard, who signed a four-year deal with Orlando this summer, is averaging 7.8 points per game off the bench in limited minutes. “He’s really grown,” said Orlando coach Frank Vogel. “I had him a couple of years ago [in Indiana] and he’s improved as a player. He’s not just a catch-and-shoot guy. He’s making good basketball plays with the pass and his creativity with creating his own shot as well has improved. So he’s given us a big lift.’’

Eastern Notes: Drummond, Knicks, Wizards

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy wants to increase Andre Drummond‘s workload but he’s willing to sit his All-Star center if he’s not playing well. Van Gundy said this week that he plans to rest Drummond in shorter bursts this season. “He’s capable of playing big minutes,” Van Gundy said. “We want him out there a lot. Barring foul trouble, we’re trying to get him to where his rests are shorter.” Drummond took a long rest on Wednesday, when the Pistons lost to the Nets. He was benched most of the second half after being outplayed by Brook Lopez. “He was just, in my opinion, bringing absolutely nothing to the game,” Van Gundy told the assembled media in his postgame press conference. “I don’t know if he was tired or what the deal was, but he didn’t bring any energy to the game.”
 
In other news around the Eastern Conference:
  • Forward Lance Thomas is off to a rough start after being re-signed this offseason to a four-year, $27MM deal by the Knicks, Marc Berman of the New York Post points out. He is averaging 3.3 points on 33% shooting in 20.6 minutes and his defense hasn’t been good enough to make up for his offensive woes, Berman continues. New coach Jeff Hornacek has stuck with Thomas in the rotation even though European rookie Mindaugas Kuzminskas might be a better option, Berman adds.
  • Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue admits he wasn’t paying much attention during the free agency period, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports. Lue was impressed when he found out about the Celtics’ signing of Al Horford, making Boston of one the main threats to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference, Fedor adds. “Whenever you are able to acquire another All-Star automatically you are going to get better,” Lue told Fedor. “That’s a great piece in going in the right direction.”
  • Wizards rookie point guard Tomas Satoransky may have already moved ahead of Trey Burke in the rotation behind starter John Wall, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. Satoransky played 10 second-half minutes against the Raptors on Wednesday in place of Burke, who was acquired in a trade with the Jazz this offseason, Buckner adds. “It’s definitely something that’s going to be considered,” new coach Scott Brooks told Buckner. “Tomas brings a lot of energy and brings some toughness and has good size and athleticism. He’s played that position his entire life.”

Wizards Haven’t Discussed Extension With Burke

The Washington Wizards haven’t talked about a rookie-scale extension with reserve point guard Trey Burke, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. Haynes termed it “highly unlikely” that an extension agreement gets worked out by Monday’s deadline.

Burke, who came to Washington in an offseason trade with the Jazz, will become a restricted free agent next summer if no extension is reached. He is making nearly $3.4MM this season.

Burke saw his minutes decline each season he was in Utah, but he is expected to have a larger role as John Wall‘s backup with the Wizards. Burke averaged 10.6 points and 2.3 assists per night in 64 games last year.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Wall, Burke, Satoransky

Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal will have to go through the NBA’s concussion protocol after taking an elbow to the head Wednesday, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Beal was held out of action today and won’t be cleared to play until he goes through the “return-to-participation protocol.” Coach Scott Brooks called the injury a mild concussion that happened when Ian Mahinmi accidentally hit Beal in the head. Still, it’s the second concussion in eight months for Beal and one more injury concern for a player the Wizards signed to a five-year, $128MM maximum contract over the summer. Beal has missed 25% of his games during his first four years in the NBA and was placed on a minutes restriction last season after doctors discovered  “the beginnings of a stress reaction” in his lower right fibula.

There’s more from the Wizards’ camp:

  • Still recovering from offseason surgery on both knees, point guard John Wall is hoping more backcourt depth will lighten his workload, Buckner writes in a separate story. Washington swung a deal with Utah this summer for Trey Burke, who entered camp as Wall’s likely backup. Wall hopes his addition will mean more rest during a long season. “A lot of times in the past I was playing  40, 42 minutes and the whole second half … wearing my body down,” Wall said. “With a better second unit that we’ll probably have, we’re a more complete team, I probably won’t have to be out there as much. I think that will help with how I take care of my body and how we play as a team.”
  • Wall confirmed that he is ahead of his rehab schedule as he tries to be ready for the October 27th season opener, relays J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Wall has been participating in about 70% of practices, but has been sitting out five-on-five drills. “I’m leaving it all up to the doctors and the trainers,” Wall said. “As long as I can get through this week, and get through the more practices we have and through the preseason, we’ll have to sit back and wait and see. Hopefully I will be [ready for the opener]. That’s my ultimate goal, but I’m not trying to rush it.”
  • Tomas Satoransky has been the surprise of camp so far, Michael writes in a separate piece. The 6’7″ Czech rookie guard agreed to join the Wizards over the summer on a three-year, $9MM deal and has impressed teammates with his vertical leap and knowledge of the game. “I’d seen a couple highlights of him playing,” said Otto Porter, “but actually getting out here playing with him to actually be on his team? One time I was cutting through, he hit me on the back of the shoulder [with the ball]. I wasn’t looking for it. I was like, ‘OK, this kid knows how to play.’”

Southeast Notes: Marshall, Hornets, Ibaka

The Wizards could be a suitor for Kendall Marshall, Ben Standig of Comcast Sportsnet speculates. Marshall was traded to the Jazz and subsequently waived on Friday. Washington could look to add depth at the point guard position with John Wall still recovering from knee surgery. The team added former first round pick Trey Burke via trade this offseason and the Michigan product will likely get the first shot at backing up the team’s franchise player.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets made several under-the-radar moves to improve this offseason, such as signing Ramon Sessions to a team-friendly deal, and they should be considered the biggest challengers to Cleveland for the Eastern Conference crown, Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders argues. Dowsett also praises the decision to bring Roy Hibbert aboard on a one-year, $5MM deal.
  • The Magic acquired Serge Ibaka on draft night and they hope the big man can help lead them back to the playoffs, however, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders is pessimistic about Ibaka’s chances of having a strong 2016/17 campaign. Greene notes that Ibaka’s production, including his points, rebounds and blocks per game, has decreased over the past several seasons. His field goal percentage has also dwindled, going from 57.3% during the 2012/13 season to 47.9% last year.

Southeast Notes: Prince, Scott, Burke, Sessions

Taurean Prince got his draft wish to join the Hawks, but Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that the rookie out of Baylor had to wait two weeks for it to happen. Prince remained in limbo as a member of the Jazz until a three-team trade with the Pacers was formally completed this week. That deal sent the number 12 pick to Atlanta, which was happy to add the 6’8″ combo forward. “Taurean has many of the qualities that we value in our program,” said Hawks GM Wes Wilcox. “We are excited to add his competitiveness, toughness, versatility and desire to improve.” Prince, who worked out twice for the Hawks before the draft, was a first-team All-Big 12 selection this season after averaging 15.9 points and 6.1 rebounds at Baylor.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Mike Scott’s $3.3MM salary for next season will become guaranteed today, Vivlamore tweets. Scott played in 75 games for the Hawks this season, all as a reserve, averaging 6.2 points per night and shooting 39% from 3-point range.
  • Former lottery pick Trey Burke is excited about the chance to revive his career with the Wizards, writes Gene Wang of The Washington Post. Washington acquired the third-year point guard last week in a trade with the Jazz, sending a 2021 second-round pick to Utah in return. Burke had fallen to the bottom of the depth chart in Utah and figured to have his playing time severely cut with the Jazz trading for George Hill and getting Dante Exum back from a year-long injury. Instead, he gets to join the Wizards and back up one of his favorite points guards. “I think it’s just a good fit for me, obviously playing behind John Wall,” Burke said. “He’s an established guard right now. Learning from him, I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the city. It’s just great to know that I’m welcome to another organization.” Burke has one year left on his contract at nearly $3.4MM.
  • The two-year contract that Ramon Sessions signed with the Hornets will pay him $6MM in the first season with a $6.3MM team option for the second, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Wizards Acquire Trey Burke

JULY 7TH: The trade is now official, the Jazz announced.

JULY 3RD: The Jazz are close to completing a trade that will send point guard Trey Burke to the Wizards, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Utah will reportedly receive a second-round pick in return (Twitter link). The pick is for 2021, tweets TNT’s David Aldridge.

Burke has been on the trading block since the Jazz made a deal to acquire George Hill from the Pacers. Burke has spent his entire three-year career with Utah after being acquired from the Timberwolves in a 2013 draft-day deal. He averaged 10.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game this season in a reserve role, but there were rumblings that Jazz management had soured on Burke after he failed to win the starting job when Dante Exum was lost for the season with an injury.

Burke’s acquisition may mean the Wizards are not planning to re-sign point guards Ramon Sessions and Garrett Temple. Both are 30-year-old free agents.

Jazz Place Trey Burke On Trade Block

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.

Northwest Notes: De Colo, Nuggets, Stotts, Jazz

Nando De Colo, who is coming off a big year with CSKA Moscow, is reportedly drawing interest from several NBA teams hoping to bring him back to North America. According to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net, the Nuggets have been monitoring De Colo for some time, and are interested in making him an offer. However, with CSKA Moscow invested in hanging onto the Euroleague standout, and De Colo’s NBA rights still being held by Toronto, his contract situation will be a tricky one to navigate.

As we wait to see what happens with De Colo, let’s check in on a few other Monday notes from out of the NBA’s Northwest division:

  • A report last week indicated that the Trail Blazers intend to discuss a possible extension for head coach Terry Stotts, and according to Jay Allen of Rip City Radio 620 AM in Portland (Twitter link), Portland’s current offer to Stotts is in the neighborhood of $20MM over five years. Allen cautions in subsequent tweets that those numbers are hardly set in stone, noting that they could just be a starting point for the two sides.
  • The criteria for renegotiating an NBA player’s contract are somewhat complicated and restrictive, but the Jazz could rework Derrick Favors‘ deal this October if they so choose, and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders explains why it might make sense to do so.
  • Trey Burke, who was once considered the point guard of the future in Utah, may not longer be a part of the plans going forward for the Jazz, writes Randy Hollis of The Deseret News. As Hollis details, general manager Dennis Lindsey remains positive about Burke, but the former top-10 pick saw his minutes slashed this past season, and didn’t start a single game.

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