5:36pm: Burks will miss the remainder of the season, the Jazz have announced. “Alec’s long-term health has been our top priority throughout this process, and although it is unfortunate that we will be without his services on the court the rest of this season, we commend Alec’s commitment and continued effort to play through considerable pain to this point,” said Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey. “After continued consultation with our medical staff, Alec and his representation, we have unanimously agreed that it would be most prudent for Alec to have this procedure performed now in order to ensure that he will be healthy and ready for the start of next season.”
3:36pm: The Jazz are concerned that continued shoulder problems for Alec Burks will knock him out for the season, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Burks has missed the team’s last two games with a strained left shoulder. He also missed a pair of games earlier this month with trouble in the same shoulder, and there were conflicting reports about whether he would need surgery. The 23-year-old shooting guard signed a four-year, $42MM extension, with incentives that could push the value to $45MM, in October. He’s making a little more than $3.034MM in the final year of his rookie scale contract this season, but the Jazz couldn’t apply for a Disabled Player Exception, which would be worth $1,517,178, since they’re under the cap.
The original injury didn’t appear to have a profound effect on his performance, as his scoring and three-point shooting percentage have both gone up since he missed those two early-December games. His numbers overall this season, his first as a full-time starter, have been similar to the ones he posted last year when he saw 5.2 fewer minutes per game. Burks is shooting a career-worst 40.3%, though that percentage has remained steady since his brief absence earlier this month.
The Jazz are 10-21 and without legitimate playoff hopes in the Western Conference, so the loss of Burks wouldn’t derail any grand plans for this season. Still, the team surely hoped he could develop further under new coach Quin Snyder to help the extension look less like the player-friendly arrangement that it appeared to be when Burks put pen to paper. The Jazz only have 12 players with fully guaranteed contracts, as our roster counts show, so they have flexibility to find a replacement for Burks if they wish. However, all of their contracts would become guaranteed if they’re still on the books come January 10th, the leaguewide guarantee date.