Alec Burks

Alec Burks Hopes To Remain With Cavs

Alec Burks, who was shipped to Cleveland in the Kyle Korver deal, has only played three games with the Cavaliers so far, though he hopes to remain with his new team.

“Hopefully,” Burks responded when asked if Cleveland is where he wants to be (via Chris Fedor of “That’s not up to me. We will see what happens.”

Burks has an $11.5MM expiring contract and he may be one of the Cavs’ better trade chips. Instead of worrying about his upcoming free agency or the possibility of another trade, he’s viewing the new situation as an opportunity to showcase his ability. The team feels Burks is a good fit thanks to his play-making skills and athleticism.

“That’s his game. He attacks the basket,” coach Larry Drew said. “Because he’s so athletic, he can maneuver to the basket and get a shot off.”

Western Notes: Korver, Nowitzki, Rockets, Rose

Shooting guard Kyle Korver knew the Cavaliers’ front office might deal him early in the season and he listed the Jazz as one of his preferred destinations, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports. Korver was traded for Alec Burks and two future second-round picks. “It feels like a good fit,” Korver told Woodyard. Korver is in his second stint with Utah, having played there from 2007-10. He has averaged 8.5 PPG in 19.5 MPG in his first two games since the deal.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Dirk Nowitzki participated in a 3-on-3 scrimmage at the end of practice on Monday as he nears his return to action, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. The longtime Mavericks power forward has not played this season due to a left ankle injury. Dallas is hopeful he can make his season debut sometime this month. “He’s got to keep working on strength, playing simulation games with some of our guys,” coach Rick Carlisle told Sefko. “Sprinting, moving and all that. It’s never going to be the same as running out there with real NBA players. But you got to do what you can do.”
  • Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni believes improved health will lead to better defense, as he told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The Rockets currently rank 26th in that department. Nene and Chris (Paul) coming back, first of all, that’s two of the better defenders in the league, so that helps,” D’Antoni said. “That’s going to take minutes off Clint (Capela) and P.J. (Tucker). So they’ll be better defensively because they won’t be as tired. … We know we need to be in the top 10 to be a real contender.”
  • D’Antoni has high praise for the Timberwolves’ Derrick Rose, who has reinvented himself as a shooting guard, Feigen writes in a separate story. Rose is averaging 19.3 PPG despite starting just five of 21 games. “Accepting new roles is tough. Some guys can do it. Some guys just can’t do it,” D’Antoni said. “They can try to shoot threes all they want. When they can do it, for the team, obviously, it’s beneficial. The league has changed. If you want to be effective, you have to change sometimes.”

Central Notes: Markkanen, Burks, Pachulia, Bulls

Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen made his season debut on Saturday against the Rockets, seeing 25 minutes of action off the bench for the first time since suffering an elbow sprain in September.

Markkanen, 21, is a key cog in the Bulls’ young core, and the team was 5-18 without him this season. He struggled shooting the ball on Saturday and finished 4-14 from the field, a clear sign of rust from the extended time on the sidelines.

“I felt good,” Markkanen said after the game, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “I had no problems with my elbow, so that’s a positive. Missed some easy shots, but I think I played decent defense. I just gotta get my legs back.”

Aside from his shooting, Markkanen grabbed four rebounds, recorded a steal, one block and two fouls against the Rockets. It’s unclear how long he’ll come off the bench, with the likes of Jabari Parker and Wendell Carter Jr. starting ahead of him in the frontcourt.

“We will be careful with his minutes,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We’ll have constant communication while he’s on the floor to see if he needs a break to get his wind. But he’s done a great job of preparing himself for this moment with all the work he has done.

“Everybody is excited to have him back. He has a great skill set. He can do a lot on the floor. He demands a lot of attention to hopefully open up some driving lanes for some of our playmakers. He’ll have the ball in his hands some as well in facilitating.”

There’s more from the Central division today:

  • New Cavaliers guard Alec Burks played his first game with the team on Friday, scoring 15 points in 26 minutes off the bench. He followed this performance with a 13-point game on Saturday against the Raptors, proving his worth since being part of a Jazz-Cavs trade from last week. “Opportunity is everything in this league,” Burks said, according to Chris Fedor of “I feel like I have a great one here. Just trying to take advantage of it and help my new team win.”
  • Zaza Pachulia has provided a settling effect on the Pistons behind Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond this season, Ansar Khan of Mass Live writes. Pachulia, a former NBA champion, has averaged 4.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game.
  • Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times believes the Bulls should follow the Cavaliers’ lead and explore trading players, explaining his thoughts in a new piece. Players such as Justin Holiday, Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez could register interest on the trade market.

Cavaliers Notes: Korver, Burks, Hill, Sexton

The Cavaliersdecision to trade Kyle Korver to the Jazz on Wednesday was made because the team wanted to move him while he was still healthy and productive, according to Terry Pluto of Korver has a history of foot issues, most recently causing him to miss two games last month. Korver has been on the market for a while and the Cavs didn’t want to take the chance of another injury derailing a deal.

Cleveland had been hoping to get a first-round pick in exchange for the 37-year-old sharpshooter, Pluto adds, and although several teams were interested in acquiring Korver, no one was willing to part with a first-rounder. Several Cavaliers teammates were upset to lose Korver, who had a 22-point game on Monday.

There’s more news today out of Cleveland:

  • Alec Burks, whom the Cavs acquired in the Korver deal, is thrilled about the chance for more playing time, relays Chris Fedor of Burks already has a connection to Rodney Hood and George Hill, his former teammates in Utah, and to coach Larry Drew, who played against Burks’ father. “Opportunity is everything in this league,” Burks said. “I feel like I have a great one here. Just trying to take advantage of it and help my new team win.” However, Fedor points out that Burks’ stay in Cleveland might be brief. He has an $11.5MM expiring contract that could make him attractive to a contender before the February 7 trade deadline.
  • Hill is returning to action tonight after missing more than three weeks with a sprained shoulder, tweets Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Drew confirmed that Hill is ready to go, adding that rookie Collin Sexton will remain in the starting lineup as the shooting guard.
  • The Cavaliers made a couple of housekeeping moves this week, according to the Real GM transactions page, renouncing their free-agent exception rights to Shawn Marion and James Jones. Marion retired in 2015, while Jones called it quits in 2017 and serves as interim GM of the Suns.

Cavaliers Trade Kyle Korver To Jazz

NOVEMBER 29: The Cavaliers and Jazz have officially issued press releases confirming the trade.

NOVEMBER 28: The Jazz have agreed to trade Alec Burks and two future second-round picks to the Cavaliers in exchange for sharpshooting veteran Kyle Korver, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Wojnarowski adds that the picks being sent to Cleveland are Utah’s 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick via the Wizards.

Korver, 37, is averaging 6.8 points on 46.1% shooting from the field and 46.3% from beyond the arc in 15.7 minutes per game so far this season. The 15-year veteran previously played three seasons in Utah, from 2007-10, before signing with the Bulls in the summer of 2010.

Burks, meanwhile, is averaging 8.4 points on 41.2% shooting from the field and 37.2% from beyond the arc in an almost identical 15.8 minutes per game. The 27-year-old guard has spent his entire seven-year career in Utah after being drafted 12th overall in 2011.

The Jazz, who have stumbled out of the gate to a disappointing record of 9-12 and currently sit as the 14-seed in the Western Conference, rank 29th in 3-point shooting. The trade for Korver will likely improve upon that figure and open things up for Donovan Mitchell, who has yet to show much improvement upon his scintillating rookie campaign.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes, Korver has a $7.56MM cap hit this season and will earn $7.5MM in 2019-20. But, his salary for next season is only guaranteed for $3.44MM before July 7, 2019. Burks is in the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $11.54MM.

Under NBA trade rules, the Cavaliers are able to absorb a player whose salary is up to $5MM more than Korver’s salary (i.e. $12.56MM), meaning Burks’ salary of $11.54MM will fit nicely and still keep the Cavs over $4MM under the luxury-tax level. Moreover, the Cavs create an additional $3.44MM in cap space for next season, the amount of Korver’s 2019/20 guarantee, thanks to Burks being on an expiring contract.

The Jazz, meanwhile, will create a $3.98MM trade exception, that figure representing the difference between the two players’ salaries. They’ll have one year from the date of the trade to use that exception to acquire another player, if they so wish.

Earlier today, we relayed how the Cavs were willing to take on long-term salary in exchange for other assets, so being able to get two draft picks and an expiring contract for Korver must feel like a real win for Cleveland’s front office.

Reactions, Notes On Trade Sending Korver To Jazz

The Cavaliers and the Jazz struck a deal on Wednesday, agreeing to a trade that will send Kyle Korver to Utah in exchange for Alec Burks and a pair of second-round picks. The move isn’t technically official yet, but Korver has already weighed in on it, speaking to Joe Vardon of The Athletic about his impending return to the Jazz.

“I’m thankful that (Cavaliers GM) Koby (Altman) and management were upfront and mindful of my family through this process and are sending us to a great city and organization,” Korver said. “We have lots of friendships there, which will soften the landing.”

As Vardon notes, the Cavaliers aren’t in a particularly good spot by now, and the organization’s image figures to take a hit this season as the losses pile up. However, players inside and outside of the organization will take notice that Cleveland kept Korver in the loop as they explored the trade market, ultimately moving him to a place where he and his family can be comfortable.

Here’s more on the swap between the Cavaliers and Jazz:

  • Although Cavaliers players recognize the team’s situation this season and will appreciate that the franchise sent Korver to a favorable destination, multiple players are a little upset by the trade, according to Vardon. Those players still want to win, and know that the Cavs’ outside shooting will take a big hit with Korver gone. Chris Fedor of has a handful of quotes from Cavs players reacting to the deal.
  • In the view of Jordan Greer of The Sporting News, the Korver swap is a win-win for the Cavaliers, who received an A- grade from Greer, and the Jazz, who got a B+.
  • Chris Fedor of hears that the Cavaliers weren’t confident that Sixers guard Markelle Fultz would have been a strong enough return for Korver, since his shooting issues and possible shoulder problems made it difficult his true value.
  • Tony Jones of The Athletic and Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News explored the impact of the Korver deal from the Jazz‘s side.

Western Rumors: Patterson, Burks, Kokoskov, Paul

Forward Patrick Patterson admits he’s disappointed with the way his first season with the Thunder played out, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman reports. Patterson appeared in every regular season game but averaged career lows in points, rebounds, minutes and field goal percentage after signing a three-year, $16.5MM contract last summer. “At the end of the day, it wasn’t what I expected,” Patterson said. “It wasn’t what my teammates and coaching staff expected, or even the fans.” Patterson saw very little playing time with the first unit at power forward due to Carmelo Anthony‘s presence, Horne notes.

In other Western Conference news:

  • Jazz guard Alec Burks, who has endured an injury-plagued career, headed into the offseason healthy but his future with the club is uncertain, according to Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Burks fell out of the rotation behind rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell and another rookie, Royce O’Neale. Burks has one year and $11.5MM remaining on his contract and his expiring deal could be traded in the offseason, Sorensen adds. “I’ve been here a long time, since I was 19, and hopefully it keeps going,” Burks told Sorensen. “I’ve seen a lot in seven years. There’s been high times, low times and even-keel times. Hopefully there’ll be more good times in the future.”
  • The Suns may have one of the youngest rosters in the league but new coach Igor Kokoskov insists that shouldn’t lower expectations, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic relays. Kokoskov, the NBA’s first European-born coach, made the comment during his introductory press conference. “This is not a development league. This is the NBA,” Kokoskov said. “We won’t ever hide it or use it as an excuse.”
  • Chris Paul knew what he was doing when he orchestrated a trade from the Clippers to the Rockets, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times writes. Pairing up with James Harden gave the perennial All-Star point guard his best chance to win an NBA championship, Woike continues. He has quieted the doubters by getting to the Western Conference Finals, Woike adds. “All the people who talk about it don’t know this game better than I do,” Paul said.

Thunder, Bulls, Others Eyeing Rodney Hood

The Thunder, Bulls, and Pistons are among the teams showing interest in Jazz guard Rodney Hood as Thursday’s trade deadline nears, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. League sources tell Jones that the Nuggets and Magic have also displayed “at least a passing interest” in Hood.

The Jazz have reportedly been exploring the trade market for Hood for at least the last few weeks, and Jones suggests the team is seeking “an asset” in return. While a first-round pick would be ideal, Utah may need to take on a bad contract in order to land a draft pick of that caliber, and it’s not clear whether the club is willing to do that, says Jones.

Hood, 26, is having the best offensive season of his career in 2017/18, averaging 16.4 PPG and shooting 38.7% on three-point attempts — both marks are career highs. However, he has once again been limited by injuries, a recurring issue throughout his NBA career. A fourth-year guard, Hood has only played more than 59 games in a season once so far.

As for Hood’s potential suitors, it’s no surprise that the Thunder, Bulls, and Pistons would have some interest, as all three teams could use another young shooter. However, Oklahoma City’s trade assets are limited, and Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press tweets that Detroit’s interest in Hood was stronger before the Blake Griffin trade. With Griffin’s long-term salary on their books, Ellis notes, the Pistons are less inclined to explore a swap of Stanley Johnson for Hood, since Johnson’s affordable rookie contract runs through 2019, while Hood will get expensive in restricted free agency this summer.

Meanwhile, Alec Burks is also generating some trade interest around the NBA, according to Jones. However, Jones cautions that Burks’ contract, which pays him $11.5MM in 2018/19, is limiting his appeal to some extent.

Jazz, Bulls Engaged In Nikola Mirotic Talks

The Jazz are engaged in discussions with the Bulls about a potential trade involving Nikola Mirotic, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. While nothing is imminent, Jones hears that talks have moved “past the preliminary stage and [are] getting serious.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first linked Mirotic to the Jazz on Monday, suggesting that Quin Snyder‘s reputation for maximizing offensive talent had “intrigued” the Bulls’ power forward. While it wasn’t clear at that point if the interest was mutual, Jones confirms that the Jazz are exploring the possibility of acquiring Mirotic. K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune also reported that Utah had expressed interest in the veteran forward.

Mirotic, who is in the first season of a two-year deal that features a $12.5MM team option for 2018/19, will become trade-eligible on January 15. Any deal involving him would require his approval, but that’s not expected to be a major roadblock — the relationship between Mirotic and the Bulls has been shaky, particularly after an altercation between Mirotic and teammate Bobby Portis in the fall. If Mirotic’s ability to veto a deal becomes an issue, the Bulls could always circumvent that by exercising his second-year option, assuming their potential trade partner is on board.

As for Chicago’s potential return in a Mirotic deal, the team has “made it clear” that the asking price is a first-round pick with no long-term contracts attached, per Johnson. Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago writes that the Bulls – in talks with the Jazz – aren’t interested in taking on Alec Burks, whose $10.85MM salary would match up nicely with Mirotic’s $12.5MM cap hit.

Burks has a guaranteed $11.54MM salary for 2018/19, so Chicago’s willingness to absorb that contract may hinge on the draft compensation attached. The Bulls may push instead for a player like Joe Johnson ($10.5MM) or Derrick Favors ($12MM), both of whom are on expiring contracts.

Woj’s Latest: Pistons, Fournier, Lakers, Hawks

Shooting guards and small forwards are in high demand as the trade deadline approaches, and there simply aren’t that many quality wings expected to be available, Adrian Wojnarowski writes in his latest report for As Wojnarowski details, the Pistons, Knicks, Pelicans, and Trail Blazers are just a few of the many teams looking for upgrades on the wing.

DeMarre Carroll (Nets), Alec Burks (Jazz), Kent Bazemore (Hawks), and Evan Fournier (Magic) are among the veterans attracting some interest on the trade market, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that the Pistons pursued a deal for Fournier. Such a trade would be hard to pull off without including Reggie Jackson‘s contract, so nothing’s imminent at this point, but the Pistons continue to be aggressive on the trade market, a reflection of Stan Van Gundy‘s desire to win now, says Wojnarowski.

As for the Pelicans, they also remain active in trade talks despite their limited assets, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have negative value and won’t be movable without New Orleans attaching a draft pick or two. If the Pelicans can’t trade for a wing, they’ll have to count on getting Solomon Hill back healthy for the home stretch of the season.

Here’s more from Woj:

  • The Lakers have “made it clear” that Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. are available in trades, reports Wojnarowski. The club had been planning on waiting until after the season to try to move Clarkson, but there may be a mutual desire to get something done on that front sooner rather than later.
  • Bazemore, Ersan Ilyasova, and Marco Belinelli are expendable in Atlanta, where the Hawks are focused on unloading veterans and stockpiling more young players and draft picks, per Wojnarowski.
  • The Bulls still plan to trade Nikola Mirotic after January 15, assuming he OK’s a deal. According to Wojnarowski, Mirotic is somewhat intrigued by the Jazz and their head coach Quin Snyder, who has a reputation for maximizing offensive talent.
  • It’s possible their outlooks could change by the trade deadline, but the Thunder and Pelicans currently have no plans to trade Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins, respectively. Both players can become unrestricted free agents this July.
  • We passed along more rumors from Woj in full stories earlier today, providing the latest on DeAndre Jordan and examining the Grizzliesasking price for Tyreke Evans.