Trey Burke

Wizards Notes: Bogdanovic, Oubre, Burke, Mac

Playing time will be the priority for Bojan Bogdanovic when he enters free agency this summer, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. Bogdanovic was averaging about 27 minutes per game with the Nets before a midseason trade to Washington cut that number to about 23. Bogdanovic may have to look elsewhere if he wants a larger role, particularly if the Wizards are able to re-sign fellow small forward Otto Porter, who has the starting job locked down. Washington used a three-man rotation at the position after the deal, Hughes notes, with Porter, Bogdanovic and Kelly Oubre all contributing. Oubre is expected to have an expanded role next season. “I want to try to find a team where I can play heavy minutes,” Bogdanovic said. “I hope that I will play here maybe, but we will see. It’s a long summer in front of us before free agency. We’ll see.” Bogdanovic, who will represent Croatia in the European Championship this summer, added that he would like to remain on the same team with John Wall or find a point guard with similar skills.

There’s more news out of D.C.:

  • A platelet-rich plasma treatment has been prescribed for Oubre’s right knee, Hughes notes in a separate story. Oubre plans offseason workouts with teammate Bradley Beal, and possibly Wall, in hopes of becoming a better ballhandler.
  • The minutes totals for the starters in the Game 7 loss to the Celtics emphasizes the need to build a stronger bench, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Wall and Beal barely came out of Monday’s game, while Markieff Morris played nearly 42 minutes and Porter was close to 40. Buckner cites point guard as an area where important decisions must be made, with backups Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings both headed toward free agency. Burke fell behind rookie Tomas Satoransky in the rotation, then dropped out completely once Jennings was signed. Burke expressed frustration with the way things worked out and sounded ready to move on. “I don’t plan on my role being the same next year,” he said. “My agency is working very hard for me right now. I know what type of player I can be and I know what type of player I want to be. That’s not my plan. This summer, it’ll be great. I’m looking forward to the summer.”
  • The Wizards will take a closer look at three young prospects this offseason, Buckner adds in the same piece. Shooting guard Sheldon Mac and big men Daniel Ochefu and Chris McCullough will all be part of Washington’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. Mac, who changed his name from McClellan at midseason, has the best chance of the three to crack the rotation next year, according to Buckner, but his $1.3MM contract for 2017/18 in non-guaranteed.

Potential 2017 RFAs Whose Qualifying Offers Will Be Impacted By Starter Criteria

The NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will go into effect on July 1, 2017, includes a number of changes to the free agent process, including some that apply specifically to restricted free agents. However, one aspect of restricted free agency unaffected by the new CBA is what’s referred to as the “starter criteria,” which can affect how much an RFA’s qualifying offer will be worth.

Here’s how the starter criteria works: A player who is eligible for restricted free agency is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency. A player can also meet the criteria if he averages either of those marks in the two seasons prior to his restricted free agency. For instance, if a player started 50 games in 2015/16 and 35 in 2016/17, he’d meet the starter criteria, since his average number of starts over the last two seasons exceeds 41.

A player’s ability or inability to meet the starter criteria can affect the value of the qualifying offer he receives as a restricted free agent, as follows:

  • A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 15th overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A player picked between 10th and 30th who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the ninth overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A second-round pick or undrafted player who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 21st overall pick would receive if he signed for 100% of the rookie scale.
  • For all other RFAs, the standard criteria determine the amounts of their qualifying offers.

Extending a qualifying offer to a player ensures that a team has the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet, and gives the player the option of signing that one-year QO. Generally, the value of a restricted free agent’s qualifying offer isn’t hugely important, since very few RFAs accept those offers outright. Still, those QOs can have an impact on a team’s salary cap outlook during July’s free agent period, so it’s worth checking in to see which potential RFAs will be eligible for higher or lower qualifying offers this summer.

Listed below are the top-14 picks on track for restricted free agency who have not met the starter criteria. These players will be eligible for qualifying offers worth $4,187,598.

Len and Noel had the worst QO luck this season. As the fifth and sixth overall picks in 2013, they would have been in line for qualifying offers worth about $6.4MM and $5.85MM, respectively. Instead, their QOs will be worth less than $4.2MM. Both players were very close to meeting the starter criteria too — they’ve started 77 games apiece in the past two years, so they’ll fall just short of the 82 required.

The players listed below are non-lottery first-round picks who will meet the starter criteria. That will make each of them eligible for a qualifying offer worth $4,588,840.

All four of these players were selected in the 20-26 range in the 2013 draft, and their QOs would’ve ranged from about $3.39MM to $3.22MM if they hadn’t met the starter criteria.

Here are the rest of the RFAs whose qualifying offers won’t necessarily be determined by the standard criteria:

  • Undrafted power forward JaMychal Green (Grizzlies) has met the starter criteria, putting him in line for a QO worth $2,820,497 instead of the more modest amount he would’ve received as a minimum-salary player.
  • Two players – Joe Ingles (Jazz) and Ben McLemore (Kings) – still have a chance to meet the starter criteria depending on how the season’s last four days play out. Ingles has played 1,848 minutes this season, meaning he would have to average about 38 MPG in Utah’s last four contests to reach 2,000, which is a tall order. McLemore may fall just short as well, as he currently sits at 79 starts over the last two seasons. He’ll need to start three of the Kings’ last four games in order to average 41 starts per year, but he has only been in Sacramento’s starting lineup twice since the start of March. (End-of-season update: Neither Ingles nor McLemore met the starter criteria.)

Wizards’ Trey Burke Changes Agencies

Wizards guard Trey Burke has made a change in his representation, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, who reports (via Twitter) that Burke has signed with Excel Sports Management. Burke’s new agent will be Mike George, Mullen adds.

The timing of the move is interesting for Burke, who will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer. Washington will have to tender a qualifying offer to Burke to make him restricted, and it’s not clear if the team will do so — the Wizards will have their hands full with RFAs Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic, so Burke may not be a priority.

Whether he’s restricted or unrestricted, Burke will have a new agent negotiating his next contract on his behalf. Previously, the former Michigan standout had been represented by CAA’s Austin Brown as well as his father, Benji Burke. It’s not clear if the elder Burke will still be involved in negotiations for his son at all, or whether Excel – led by George – will handle those discussions exclusively.

In 54 games this season for the Wizards, Burke has played just 12.3 minutes per contest, resulting in career-worst averages in most per-game categories. However, his .442 FG% and .419 3PT% this season are his best marks since entering the NBA as the ninth overall pick in 2013. Burke is still just 24, so he should draw some interest in free agency this summer, despite his limited role in Washington.

Wizards To Waive Danuel House

Rookie shooting guard Danuel House will be in the odd man out in D.C. with Brandon Jennings close to finalizing a deal with the Wizards, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the club will waive House to open up a spot on the roster for Jennings.

Earlier today, word broke that Trey Burke didn’t made the trip to Toronto with the rest of the Wizards due to a personal matter, creating speculation about whether Burke would be the roster casualty. As I noted at the time, the former lottery pick has averaged a career-low 12.4 minutes per contest and was reportedly being shopped prior to the deadline. However, the Wizards will hang onto Burke, opting to part ways with House instead.

An undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M, House received a partial guarantee from the Wizards last summer and earned a spot on the club’s regular-season roster. However, after appearing in just one NBA game, House suffered a fractured wrist, which has essentially wiped out his rookie year. In addition to the very brief action he saw with the Wizards, House has also played in seven D-League games for the Delaware 87ers, averaging 13.3 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

House’s contract with the Wizards ran through the 2017/18 season, but next year’s salary was fully non-guaranteed, so the team won’t be on the hook for any money beyond this season after waiving him.

Eastern Rumors: Burke, Wizards, Hawks, J.R. Smith

Wizards guard Trey Burke didn’t travel with the club to Toronto due to a personal matter, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Under normal circumstances, there would be no need to read further into that news, but with Washington needing to clear a roster spot to sign Brandon Jennings, it might be safe to read between the lines, tweets J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com.

The Wizards were said to be shopping Burke prior to the deadline, and the fourth-year guard hasn’t played a major role in Washington this season, averaging a career-low 12.4 minutes per contest. Burke’s role will likely be further reduced with Jennings in the mix, and the former Michigan standout is also an expiring contract, with possible restricted free agency around the corner.

According to Haynes (via Twitter), the Wizards have yet to make a final decision on which player will be released to clear a roster spot, so it’s possible Burke will rejoin the team after its trip to Toronto. However, it looks just as likely that he has played his last game for the club. Stay tuned.

Here are a few more items of interest from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Speaking of Jennings, his teammate with the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis, told reporters on Tuesday that being waived by New York was probably a good thing for Jennings. “He’s a great veteran, great guy,” Porzingis said, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. “But he wasn’t, you could tell that he wasn’t himself lately so that’s probably the best thing for him. Because he loves basketball, he loves playing basketball (and) he wasn’t happy here.”
  • The Hawks are still considering options for their 15th roster spot, but the team expects to add a “true point guard,” according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link).
  • J.R. Smith, who continues to recover from a thumb fracture, has rejoined the Cavaliers, though he’s not expected to play during the club’s current three-game road trip, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
  • Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald looks ahead to free agency and wonders if a reunion with Dwyane Wade would be possible for the Heat this summer, exploring whether Wade would be a better fit for the club than Dion Waiters. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel observes, the Heat will have to evaluate Waiters as they would any outside free agent, since the team won’t hold his Bird rights in the offseason and won’t necessarily have a leg up on re-signing him.

Wizards Exploring Market For Trey Burke

The Wizards are exploring the market for Trey Burke, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Washington is looking for a second-round pick in return for the point guard.

The franchise acquired Burke from the Jazz during the offseason in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick. Prior to being dealt, the 2013 No. 9 overall pick spent three seasons in Utah.

Burke has seen his role with the Wizards fluctuate this season. In 51 games with the team, he’s averaged 5.0 points in 12.6 minutes per game. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Eastern Notes: Draft, Knicks, Magic, Pacers

The Knicks‘ biggest need is a long-term answer at the point guard position and the upcoming draft should provide them an opportunity to pair Kristaps Porzingis with a playmaker, Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes. New York will likely pick in the bottom half of the lottery and Ford believes Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, who is expected to go in that range, would be a great fit for the team. Fox is a fast, defensive-minded point guard and while he’s not the best shooter, his playmaking skills are “top-notch,” according to Ford.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • UCLA’s Lonzo Ball would fit nicely in Orlando, Ford opines in the same piece. The Magic currently have Elfrid Payton manning the point guard position and he’s having a nice season. However, if they draft Ball, he’d immediately have the highest ceiling of any player on the team, Ford adds.
  • The Wizards‘ bench unit has been key to their success lately, especially on the road, as J. Michael of Comcast Sportsnet details. Offseason addition Trey Burke has made 11 out of his last 17 shots from the field during the last four away games. He also has 10 assists over that stretch.
  • Al Jefferson is enjoying his role as a mentor with the Pacers, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes. “Thirteen years in the league, I feel like I’m at the teaching point. I like that. I really do,” Jefferson said. The big man signed a two-year, $20MM deal with Indiana during the offseason.

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.”
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