NBA AM: Trey Burke Brought In To Lead
VIDEO OF THE DAY – Trey Burke
Utah Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke talks about his debut at the 2013 Orlando Summer League.Watch More Video Here
Trey Burke Struggles in Debut
When the Utah Jazz traded the No. 14 (Shabazz Muhammad) and No. 21 (Rudy Gobert) picks in last month’s draft to acquire NCAA National Player of the Year, Trey Burke, they were doing so with the hope that they were getting their paws on their point guard of the future. Burke made his debut for the Jazz this past weekend at the Orlando Pro Summer League and showed a little bit of what he can do on the pro level.
It was a slow start, as Burke shot 1-for-12 from the field in the Jazz’s win over Miami, but all of the rookies are going to have some nerves and system ignorance to work through. As far as Burke was concerned, it was great just to get his pro career started.
“It felt good,” he said. “Obviously my shot wasn’t there today, but I feel I’m still getting comfortable in the offense still. I’m just trying to continue to learn things as quickly as possible, learn from my teammates, and just keep leading.”
It’s that leadership that the team has communicated they want to see from him, regardless of what stats he puts up in these summer games.
“[The Utah coaching staff] knows that I can score and have all the intangibles,” he said, adding that they want to see him “continue to lead and be one of the vocal guys out there on the court—huddling guys up, all the small things that a point guard must show out there to help the team win.”
He’s also using the experience to get to know his new teammates, including a few guys that he’ll actually be running with once the regular season gets underway.
“It’s great to get to play with guys like Alec Burks and Jeremy Evans, Big Brookie (Jeff Brooks) down low,” Burke said. “It’s great having those weapons around me. It’s my job to keep getting them balls where they feel comfortable and put them in a comfortable position.”
And while Burke doesn’t know whether or not he’ll be the starter in Utah this season, he certainly seems confident enough to believe he’ll get a fair shot at it.
“I haven’t got any indications, but I think that the opportunity (to start) is there,” he said. “I know that I have to work for it and I think that they’re allowing me to work for it and that’s what matters.”
In the meantime, he’s hoping to use the Orlando Pro Summer League to learn the offense and adjust to the speed of the NBA game. According to Burke, his coaches are looking for “more intensity on the defensive end, more consistency at getting to the rim and finishing at the rim… It’s just all about confidence and just continuing to be a leader. I think that’s more important than anything.”
He’s not going to shoot 1-for-12 in every Summer League game, especially as he grows accustomed to his new team and his new teammates. Despite his slow start, nobody has lost any confidence in the talent and ability of Trey Burke.
Free Agency Dominoes Continue to Fall
The pool of free agents dwindles more and more by the day, and naturally quite a few players were snatched up on Sunday. Here’s a quick wrap-up of the latest transactions and rumblings in the world of NBA free agency:
- Carlos Delfino Heads Back to Milwaukee – According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to sign Rockets free agent Carlos Delfino to a three-year, $10 million deal. Delfino, who played for Milwaukee from 2009-2012, was a player that many teams had hoped to acquire on the cheap, but with $6.5 million guaranteed over the first two seasons and $10 million overall (the third year reportedly being a team option), he wasn’t exactly a clearance rack purchase. Delfino adds backcourt depth and three-point shooting behind O.J. Mayo. He will fill the role vacated by Mike Dunleavy, who verbally agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bulls.
- J.J. Hickson Further Loads Up Denver’s Frontcourt – Wojnarowksi also reported on Sunday that the Nuggets would be adding Hickson on a three-year, $15 million deal. Obviously, Denver’s frontcourt is already pretty full with Danilo Gallinari coming back from injury and Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee projected to get big minutes next year. Still, Hickson loves the idea of playing for Brian Shaw, and since Hickson can back up both Faried and McGee, he should still get plenty of burn. It was a nice signing for the Nuggets, who needed a win in the wake of losing Andre Iguodala to Golden State.
- Hawks Closing In On Monta Ellis? It has grown increasingly clear that Ellis will not be returning to the Milwaukee Bucks next season, but that creates a new question about where he actually will be playing. According to HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy, the Hawks are negotiating with Ellis on a multi-year deal in the $10 million-per-year range, and while nothing is imminent, it would certainly give Atlanta one of the biggest available names left on the free agency market. They wanted to nab a couple of high-profile free agents this summer, but they had once hoped it would be Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Now, it looks as though they’ll have to settle on Monta Ellis and Paul Millsap.
- Cavs and Mavs Vying for Bynum – It’s not news that the Dallas Mavericks are tepidly interested in Sixers free agent Andrew Bynum, but according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly another team interested in these very talented, potentially damaged goods. Cleveland has plenty of cap space and need for frontcourt depth, so depending on the price, he could be an interesting addition for them. They’ve already improved themselves by drafting Anthony Bennett and Sergey Karasev and signing free agent Jarrett Jack, but a healthy Bynum would be very major addition for the Cavaliers, who would have to be considered a decent Eastern Conference playoff team with him at full strength. Dallas, of course, could also use him, and they have sufficient cap space to make him a solid offer, too.
- Clippers Showing Interest in Antawn Jamison – While Jamison didn’t have a great season with the L.A. Lakers last season, he’s apparently still got enough left in the tank to draw the interest on the L.A. Clippers. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, the Clippers are very interested in adding the veteran power forward, which is interesting not only in and of itself, but also in what it could mean for Lamar Odom. L.A. probably wouldn’t have the minutes or the money to keep a hold of both. Like a lot of other things, this is a story to keep an eye on.