Trey Burke

Southwest Notes: Gay, Wood, Louzada, Burke

Spurs forward Rudy Gay has secured a $500K bonus after appearing in his 53rd game of the season on Wednesday night, reports Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

Gay’s contract with the Spurs includes a $500K annual incentive if he plays in at least 60 games. However, that 60-game threshold applies to a typical 82-game season. Prorated across just 72 games this season, that worked out to 52.7, meaning Gay had to play in 53 games to earn his bonus.

Because Gay received the bonus last season as well, it was deemed “likely” entering this year and was already baked into his $14.5MM cap hit for 2020/21, Marks notes. As such, the Spurs won’t have to account for a higher cap charge than expected at season’s end.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Christian Wood, who signed a three-year, $41MM deal with the Rockets just five months ago, is out to prove that he’s deserving of an even bigger payday when that contract expires. “I just want to show fans that by the time this contract’s up I think I’m gonna be a max (contract) player,” Wood said this week, per Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link).
  • While Didi Louzada‘s offensive game remains a work in progress, there’s optimism that he can be a positive contributor on the defensive end soon, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com. The 22-year-old wing, a second-round pick in 2019, signed his first NBA contract with the Pelicans on Tuesday.
  • Mavericks guard Trey Burke, who signed a three-year contract last offseason, began the season as a regular contributor, but saw his role cut back starting in February, then fell out of the rotation when J.J. Redick arrived earlier this month. Over the last two games, he has once again been a factor, averaging nearly 30 minutes per game, as Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News details. “It could go from you being DNPs to you playing 15 to 20 minutes a night,” Burke said. “You just never know, always got to stay ready. For me, this year has been tough. It’s been something that I’ve kind of battled with myself.”

Southwest Notes: Hammon, Cousins, Burke, Anderson

Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon continues to perform most of her coaching duties despite being away from the team due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News reports.

Hammon is under a league-mandated quarantine in Los Angeles along with Spurs big man Drew Eubanks and an unnamed staffer. She has missed three games.

“It’s a big loss,” guard DeMar DeRozan said. “The chemistry we have with Becky makes it a lot lighter compared to Pop (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich).”

We have from the Southwest Division:

  • Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins was ejected on Monday against his former team, the Lakers, for an altercation with Markieff Morris. Cousins intervened for teammate Jae’Sean Tate, who was shoved to the court by Morris, and first-year coach Stephen Silas was fine with Cousins’ actions, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweets“He wasn’t going to allow anything to happen to his rookie, and I think that’s admirable,” Silas said. “Him sticking up for his teammate shows a lot of who DeMarcus Cousins is.”
  • The Mavericks are dealing with major COVID issues and guard Trey Burke knows what his teammates are going through, as Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News details. Burke underwent a 25-day quarantine last summer after signing with Dallas. “I kept getting inconclusive [test] results,” he said. “It would come back negative and then it would be positive. It is a real experience. … I know it is a tough time and it is unfortunate but try to use this isolation time to do some meditation, some visualization, and try to work on yourself.”
  • Forward Kyle Anderson is averaging career highs in points, rebounding and assists for the injury-riddled Grizzlies and he feels a measure of vindication, Mark Giannotto of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. “I feel like I could have been doing this in this league, but I put a lot of work in and finally proving to myself that I can do it,” said Anderson, who is signed through the 2021/22 season.

Texas Notes: Burke, Spurs, KP, Wood

Mavericks reserve point guard Trey Burke has dealt with a variety of ups and downs in 2020, writes Dwain Price of Mavericks.com. Burke’s year had an ignominious start when the Sixers waived him before the coronavirus pandemic caused a 2019/20 season pause.

Burke was then dealt a blow when he contracted the COVID-19 before the 2019/20 NBA season restart. “Everyone knows about the corona situation – me coming down with corona and getting through that and getting to Orlando and helping the team produce,” Burke said. His subsequent performance in the Orlando restart for the Mavericks earned him a three-year, $9.45MM deal in the 2020 offseason.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • The Spurs have announced in a press release that they will keep fans out of the AT&T Center for the foreseeable future this season. “While we are confident in the plans and protocols we have in place, we are uncomfortable hosting fans at this moment as the COVID-19 numbers and data in our community continue to trend in the wrong direction,” team president R.C. Buford said in the statement.
  • Center Kristaps Porzingis took part in his first full-contact Mavericks team practice since an October right knee lateral meniscus surgery, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Head coach Rick Carlisle expects that Porzingis will likely return to the court for Dallas in January. “Sometime in the next couple of weeks isn’t far-fetched,” Carlisle said.
  • Despite an 0-2 start and some off-court pathos, new Rockets big man Christian Wood has impressed new head coach Stephen Silas thus far, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “Still trying to find his way, and we have to make sure he’s rolling and popping at the right time,” Silas said. “He started off really good hitting those three 3s early, but he’s got a little ways to go as well. We all do.” Wood is currently averaging 27.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG in 40.0 MPG for a depleted Rockets squad. He also has a stellar shooting line of .548/.571/.667.

Southwest Notes: Burke, Terry, Martin, Spurs, Konchar

The Mavericks used a portion of their mid-level exception to sign both free agent guard Trey Burke and No. 31 pick Tyrell Terry, as Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports details (Twitter links).

Burke’s three-year contract with the Mavericks, initially reported as a $10MM deal, actually has a total value of $9.45MM, starting at $3MM in 2020/21, per Smith. However, it does include a third-year player option and a 7.5% trade kicker, which would provide Burke with a modest bonus if he’s dealt before the contract expires.

Terry, meanwhile, will get a first-year salary of about $1.29MM, well above the rookie minimum. The final three years will be all be worth the minimum, with a team option on the final season, according to Smith. In total, Terry’s four-year contract with the Mavericks is worth $6.52MM, with $4.59MM in guaranteed money.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Rockets‘ four-year deal with KJ Martin (aka Kenyon Martin Jr.) is worth the minimum and is fully guaranteed in 2020/21 only, tweets Smith. His salaries for the three subsequent seasons will become guaranteed two days before the start of the offseason moratorium of each new league year.
  • Derrick White (recovering from toe surgery), Quinndary Weatherspoon (knee surgery), and Keldon Johnson (foot ailment) won’t be available when the Spurs begin practicing in the coming days, head coach Gregg Popovich said this week (link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News). “I’m not sure exactly when they are coming back, but they won’t be there in the beginning,” Popovich said.
  • After signing a two-way contract as an undrafted rookie last season, Grizzlies guard John Konchar parlayed a strong first-year audition into a four-year deal with the team this fall. As Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes, Konchar got on FaceTime with his mother immediately after agreeing to terms with the club. “It seemed like she was about to cry. I mean, the feeling was just amazing,” Konchar said.

Mavericks Sign Trey Burke To Three-Year Deal

DECEMBER 1: Burke’s deal is now official, according to an announcement from the Mavs.


NOVEMBER 20: The Mavericks have reached a three-year agreement with guard Trey Burke, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. The total amount of the deal is in the $10MM range, Stein adds.

Burke’s agent, Sam Permut of Rock Nation, negotiated a 7.5% trade kicker as part of the contract, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. It also includes a player option in the third year.

Burke was added to Dallas’ roster prior to the restart after Willie Cauley-Stein opted not to play. Despite a bout with COVID-19 and an ankle sprain, Burke delivered some quality minutes for the Mavs.

He averaged 12.0 PPG and 3.8 APG in the final eight regular-season games and 12.0 PPG and 2.3 APG in six playoff games, including three starts. He’s a career 34.5% 3-point shooter but made over 40% of his attempts in both the regular season and playoffs last season.

Burke, 27, has passed through four other organizations. He’ll compete for minutes behind Luka Doncic and could also join the Mavs’ superstar in some two point guard looks.

And-Ones: Free Agents, Jersey Ads, Bubble, Europe

John Hollinger of The Athletic, who invented the PER stat during his time at ESPN, has developed a new metric called BORD$ that estimates a player’s salary value for the upcoming season. After providing an in-depth explanation of how exactly the BORD$ formula works, Hollinger has applied it to this year’s class of free agent point guards and shooting guards in an attempt to determine which players warrant the biggest investments.

Hollinger’s point guard list doesn’t include a ton of surprises — Fred VanVleet is easily the most valuable free agent at the position, with Mike Conley and Goran Dragic topping the next two tiers. Shabazz Napier, Trey Burke, and Jordan McLaughlin are among the point guards whose projections are higher than you might expect.

Applied to this year’s free agent shooting guards, the results from Hollinger’s metric are more eyebrow-raising. Grizzlies RFA-to-be De’Anthony Melton is considered the top free agent at the position by BORD$, ahead of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Evan Fournier. A pair of Bulls guards, Kris Dunn and Shaquille Harrison, also rank in Hollinger’s top seven FA shooting guards due to their defensive prowess.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • As the NBA considers potential new revenue streams to help offset the losses generated by the coronavirus pandemic, allowing a second advertisement patch on game jerseys is one idea being weighed, according to John Lombardo of SportsBusiness Journal.
  • David Aldridge of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the lessons learned from the NBA’s summer bubble experiment and the takeaways that could carry over to the 2020/21 season. As Aldridge observes, while players and coaches aren’t eager to re-enter a bubble next year, the fact that it worked so well this time around will go a long way toward convincing them it’s worth doing again, if need be — even if it’s just for a short period in the postseason, like Major League Baseball did.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has continued to wreak havoc on European basketball leagues that have begun their 2020/21 seasons, as Ken Maguire of The Associated Press writes. Only half of the EuroLeague’s 18 clubs have played a full six-game schedule so far this season, as COVID-19 outbreaks have caused several last-minute postponements.

Southwest Notes: Louzada, Burke, Rockets, Crowder

The Sydney Kings of Australia’s NBL announced Wednesday that Pelicans’ 2019 second-round pick Didi Louzada will be returning for his second season (Twitter link). The Brazilian wing player had confirmed the news of him coming back to Sydney a couple of hours earlier (Twitter link).

Last season as a rookie, the 21-year-old Louzada averaged 11.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 1.7 APG for Sydney. The NBL’s 2020-21 season is scheduled to begin in December and will wrap up in April.

Matt Logue of The Telegraph reported that Louzada can make his NBA debut at any time as the Pelicans own his draft rights. As things stand, there’s not a set date on when the 2020/21 NBA regular season will begin.

Here’s more from across the Southwest Division:

  • Before he joined the Mavericks in the bubble this summer, Trey Burke battled COVID-19, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas News. The veteran guard discussed his trials and tribulations with the virus, including being quarantined for weeks in a Dallas hotel. “At this point, it was like 21, 22 days,” Burke said. “I was really concerned at that point because I was thinking my career was in jeopardy. I needed an opportunity before the bubble, and Dallas, a team I’m familiar with, calls me, and I can’t get to the bubble because of coronavirus.” The former first-round pick was eventually cleared to join Dallas in Orlando after his 25th day of quarantine.
  • With Mike D’Antoni not returning next season, the Rockets are beginning their search for a new head coach, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Houston has received permission to interview Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. and Mavericks assistant coach Stephen Silas. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle initially reported the Rockets’ interest in both assistant coaches, along with five other head coaching candidates.
  • At NBA Finals Media Day on Tuesday, Heat forward Jae Crowder spoke about his brief time with the Grizzlies this season, writes Mark Giannotto of Commercial Appeal. The veteran forward explained how he had to take on more of a leadership role for the young Grizzlies’ team. “Being in Memphis, I took on a different role. I took on a role I’d never taken on before in an NBA locker room,” he said. “And that’s just being a main leader, being a main vocal point, being the main guy who the young guys can lean on.” Crowder was acquired by Miami in a multi-player trade at February’s trade deadline.

Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Injuries, Porzingis, Game 6

The Mavericks don’t expect star guard Luka Doncic to be under any restrictions when their series with the Clippers resumes Sunday, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Doncic had been dealing with the effects of a sprained left ankle he suffered in the second half of Game 3, but an unexpected three-day break in the playoff schedule has allowed it to heal.

Doncic fought through the pain to deliver a remarkable performance in Game 4, posting 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists and nailing a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. He is officially listed as questionable for Game 6, but coach Rick Carlisle told reporters today that Doncic has made significant progress.

“Ankle’s doing well, all things considered,” Carlisle said. “The extra two or three days is a plus, certainly. In practice today, he looked pretty good, so going into tomorrow, I don’t think he’s going to be limited.”

There’s more Mavericks news to pass along:

  • Injuries will be a concern as Dallas tries to keep its season alive, Caplan adds in the same story. In addition to Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr. (cervical strain), Dorian Finney-Smith (left hip strain) and Trey Burke (left ankle sprain) are all listed as questionable for Game 6.
  • The knee issue that has sidelined Kristaps Porzingis may change the way the Mavericks deal with him moving forward, suggests Tim Cato of The Athletic. The team needs to recognize that Porzingis could eventually develop chronic knee problems, Cato states. He advises the Mavs to expand their frontcourt depth in case Porzingis has to miss numerous games every season and points out that there has never been another 7’3″ player with his mobility who plays so many minutes. Cato believes the organization should consider limiting Porzingis to about 30 minutes per game and reducing his travel schedule.
  • Like all the remaining teams, the Mavericks face the challenge of putting aside the emotions of a difficult week and concentrating on basketball, Caplan writes in a separate story“We’re going to go … whistle to whistle, timeout to timeout,” Carlisle said, “and we’re going to do everything possible to get to a Game 7.”

Injury Updates: Westbrook, Gordon, Lowry, Mavs

After initially being ruled out for Game 5 due to his quad injury, Rockets guard Russell Westbrook was upgraded to questionable today, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

With the Rockets and Thunder set to tip off at 5:30 pm central time tonight, Westbrook is expected to test his strained quad on the court before the game, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that the All-Star point guard will be a game-time decision.

While it remains to be seen whether Westbrook will get the go-ahead to play tonight, it sounds as if he’s getting awfully close, which means the odds we’ll see him in action before the end of the series are increasing.

Here are a few more brief injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Magic forward Aaron Gordon (hamstring) has been ruled out for Game 5 against Milwaukee, the team announced today (via Twitter). We heard on Tuesday that Gordon was still having trouble running up and down the court and that the club didn’t want to risk him suffering a more serious injury. If Orlando loses today, Gordon’s season will be over without him getting a chance to play in the postseason.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (ankle sprain) didn’t practice again today, as Marc Stein of The New York Times tweets. However, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca doesn’t necessarily view that as a bad sign, tweeting that there would be no sense running Lowry through a full practice even if he’s feeling good and plans to play on Thursday. Lowry’s status for Game 1 against Boston remains up in the air.
  • Four key Mavericks players – Kristaps Porzingis (knee), Luka Doncic (ankle), Dorian Finney-Smith (hips), and Trey Burke (ankle) – are listed as questionable to play in Game 6 on Thursday, with Dallas’ season on the line, according to Brad Townsend and Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links).

Free Agent Stock Watch: Restart Edition

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. With the first round of the playoffs ongoing at the Orlando campus, it’s time to examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors.

Jordan Clarkson, Jazz, 27, SG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $50MM deal in 2016
The late-December deal with the Cavaliers that sent Clarkson to Utah was one of the most impactful trades this season. Clarkson filled a much-needed role as a scorer off the bench for the Jazz. He has reinforced his value during the restart, particularly during the first-round series with Mike Conley leaving Orlando for the birth of a child. Clarkson averaged 22.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 3.0 APG in the first two playoff games against Denver and was a team-best +33 in Friday’s Game 3 win. Utah will certainly try to retain Clarkson but the Jazz will have competition for one of the league’s top reserves in the prime of his career.

Paul Millsap, Nuggets, 35, PF (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $90MM deal in 2017
Michael Porter Jr. has been playing some small forward for Denver during the restart due to injuries but his future in the current NBA is at the four, the spot Millsap has occupied when healthy. Millsap’s performances in the restart have been rather forgettable – 10 points or less in five of seven seeding games, along with 21 total points and seven rebounds in 65 minutes during the first three games of the Utah series. Perhaps the Nuggets will bring back Millsap if he’s willing to accept a modest contract and a bench role. It’s hard to see any other team viewing the big man as a starter at this stage of his career, so interest in him may be limited.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Nets, 25, SG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.48MM deal in 2019
Luwawu-Cabarrot has been one of the big surprises in Orlando. The Nets staggered into Orlando with a depleted roster, but the performances of Luwawu-Cabarrot and other unsung players allowed them to win five seeding games. He scored 24 or more points in three seeding games and has been a major factor off the bench against Toronto in the Nets’ first-round playoff series, averaging 21.5 PPG in the first two games while making 47.4% of his 3-point attempts before the Raptors slowed him down on Friday. His $1.8MM salary for next season is not guaranteed, but he has forced Brooklyn’s hand to retain him beyond this season.

Trey Burke, Mavericks, 27, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $229K deal in 2020
Burke filled a roster spot this summer with Willie Cauley-Stein opting out of the restart. Though the Mavs still had other guard options, Burke has played steady minutes off the bench, averaging 12.0 PPG and 3.8 APG in the eight seeding games. He impacted Game 2 of the playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes. If nothing else, the 6-foot point man who has played for five organizations proved this summer he belongs on an NBA roster as a second-unit floor leader.

Jeff Green, Rockets, 33, PF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $696K deal in 2020
Raise your hand if you thought Green would be an impact player this postseason after the Jazz lopped him off the roster to add a G League standout. The Rockets rescued him off the scrap heap and he’s been a marvelous fit in Mike D’Antoni’s small ball system. Green scored in double digits in all but one of the seeding games and he’s been a huge factor against Oklahoma City in the playoffs, averaging 18.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 35.0 MPG through two games. If D’Antoni remains in Houston beyond this season, Green will likely re-sign there. If not, the journeyman has earned another opportunity to wear an NBA uniform.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.