NBA PM: Burke’s Patience About To Pay Off
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It would have been completely justifiable for Trey Burke to leave Michigan after his freshman year. He was regarded as one of the best point guards in college basketball and was projected as a near lock to get selected in the later portion of the first round.
That decision has backfired on plenty of players in the past. But, Burke is one of the examples college coaches will point to for years to come to show how much you can benefit from coming back.
Burke had a dominating sophomore season, averaging 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists while leading his Wolverines to the national championship game and winning the Wooden Award, a honor that recognizes the recipient as the best player in college basketball that year.
As a result of his immense amount of success, Burke’s NBA Draft stock skyrocketed. He went from being a fringe first rounder in 2012 to a virtual lock to go in the top 10 this year. Burke recently received his invite to the green room, further cementing the belief that he will be one of the first players to hear his name called on June 27 at the Barclays Center.
“I got invited a couple days ago,” Burke said to HOOPSWORLD. “That was another blessing, another dream come true to be able to go to New York and sit with my family and wait for my name to be called. All of it is sort of overwhelming right now but at the same time I’m having a great time with the whole process.”
With the draft just six days away, Burke has just about completed the predraft process. He’s met with most of the lottery teams and doesn’t expect to conduct any more workouts between now and draft night.
“If I’m not working out for another team I’m going to be working out with back home with the trainer I’ve been working out with,” Burke said. “Whatever I’m doing I’m going to be somewhere in a gym trying to get better.”
Burke recently had the luxury of being a part of a select group of soon-to-be rookies who were invited to the NBA 2K14 studios to have their movements and tendencies tracked to make their player a mirror image of their actual selves. For Burke, this was just another dream come true in a year where many others have as well.
“It was great experience,” Burke said. “It was my first time here in the studios. I had a great time. I got a chance to see how things are ran and pretty much showcase my moves, my shot, give them a feel of how I play so they can transfer it to the game.”
As those who play with Burke will learn, he’s a well-rounded point guard who prides himself in being able to do a little bit of everything. He understands that he is entering the league at a time where the level of point guard play has never been higher, but thinks his versatility will help him hold his own.
“I think I’m a mixture of both,” Burke said when asked if he’s a scoring or passing point guard. “I think growing up I had a natural ability to make teammates better, get guys going, that’s been natural in my game. I think I’m just as good of as scorer as I am a passer. That’s what opens up my game more than anything, being able to have that balance and being able to play the game with a high IQ. It allows me to make plays for my team to win.”
Oden Has Eyes For HEAT: As the Miami HEAT celebrate their second-straight NBA Championship, the basketball operations side of the business will celebrate less than anyone. The quest to three-peat will begin next week for them with the 2013 NBA Draft and free agency.
The HEAT were far from content last offseason after winning their first championship in the Big 3 era. They went out and signed former All-Stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to bolster their second unit and make sure that they had enough to repeat.
While they did end up with enough to repeat, they just barely did so. They were 24 seconds and a five point deficit away in Game 6 from coming up short, so the HEAT’s front office will almost undoubtedly approach this offseason with the same mindset that if they don’t improve, they’re setting themselves up to get surpassed by their competition.
The one major knock on this team, especially throughout the postseason, was their lack of size. The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs experienced some success against them with their bigger lineups.
One free agent big man, Greg Oden, has hopes of being signed by the HEAT so that he can help them in that area next season. According to FoxSports Florida the interest is mutual.
“The HEAT need some size, that’s not a secret,” Oden’s agent Mike Conley said. “Whether it’s in a backup role or whatever, he could help them. I know they’re interested in him and he’s interested in them.”
FoxSports Florida reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Bobcats and Boston Celtics are also interested in the former No. 1 overall pick, whose career has nearly been decimated due to multiple knee injuries.
The HEAT could have an upper hand in the pursuit of Oden because of the situation they provide. With the HEAT Oden would not be asked to do anything more than what he’s capable of this point in his career and could grow into the role with little expectations. The burden to produce would be much heavier elsewhere.
Landry Leaning Towards Opting Out: Warriors forward Carl Landry, who was an intricate part of the team’s success this season, is leaning towards opting out of his contract for next year that would pay him $4 million next year.
“He’s worth a lot more than the contract he has and the direction (we’re moving) toward is him opting out,” Landry’s agent Mark Bartelstein said to CSNBayArea.com. “Things can change, but that’s where it’s leaning.”
The Warriors have made it clear that they want to bring Landry back, but their financial flexibility is limited and they also have Jarrett Jack, who they want to bring back also, heading towards free agency. Landry, despite being one of the best reserve power forwards in the league and a capable starter, has yet to receive his first big, long-term deal. He’ll be searching for it again this offseason and if another team brings one to the table, the Warriors could have a big void to fill with their second unit.