Trey Burke views the Jazz’s logjam at point guard as a source of motivation, Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune reports. This summer and upcoming season is crucial to Burke’s future with the club, Falk continues. Burke was a lottery pick in 2013 but lost his starting spot to 2014 lottery selection Dante Exum. The Jazz also have point guards Bryce Cotton, Raul Neto and Olivier Hanlan on the roster. Burke shot just 36.8% from the field and 31.8% on 3-point attempts last season while averaging 12.8 points and 4.3 assists in 30.1 minutes. His shooting percentage was the lowest of any player attempting at least 1,000 shots since 1965, Falk adds. “I just look at it as another test. A stepping stone. You can use it as motivation going into training camp,” Burke said during a conference call. “Right now, I’m really dedicating myself and, come training camp, I know I’ll be prepared, and that’s all that matters.”
In other news around the Northwest Division:
- The Thunder gave Josh Huestis the full 120% bump on his rookie scale contract and thus he will make about $1.1MM this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Huestis made a pre-draft arrangement with Oklahoma City in 2014 to be taken in the first round and then delay signing a rookie contract. He spent last season with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate while making approximately $25,000. Huestis, who signed a four-year deal with a team option after the second season, is glad he took that gamble, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. “Obviously I was the first to do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a more common practice,” Huestis said to Mayberry of the domestic-draft-and-stash route. “Not only does it give you an opportunity to stay close to your organization and stay in America, but you get to play against great competition and learn from great coaches and a great staff.”
- The focus on the Thunder this offseason has centered on new head coach Billy Donovan, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman writes. Donovan has already drawn rave reviews from people around Oklahoma City for his personality and seems to be a good fit with the community, Carlson adds.