Over the last three seasons with the Utah Jazz, Trey Burke has averaged just 4.2 assists and 12.1 points, while shooting 38.4 percent. Burke’s basketball future is unclear, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be staying in Utah.
It has been three years since the Utah Jazz pulled off a clever draft-day deal and managed to land 2013 College Basketball Player of the Year and Michigan point guard Trey Burke. It seems like just yesterday that hopeful Jazz fans welcomed the promising 6-foot-1 playmaker with open arms.
Time has flown by, and a lot of things have changed for Burke since 2013. As a rookie, Trey was a kid with talented jump shot and future as a team leader. He was key to the team’s rebuilding process. Three years later, Burke isn’t even a part of head coach Quin Snyder’s regular rotation.
And now, with three NBA seasons under his belt, Trey doesn’t seem to be apart of Utah’s long-term plans.
RUMOR HAS IT
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Jazz are looking to trade Burke. It shouldn’t come as a surprise–Jazz beat writers have been reporting as much for some time.
Moreover, his role has become less and less prominent since the start of his career. Halfway through Burke’s second season, Snyder made the decision to replace Burke with then-rookie Dante Exum in the starting lineup.
The results proved that Quin knows best. Burke provided the team’s second unit with much-needed leadership and offensive firepower. His stats even improved. Coming off the bench during the 2014-15 season, Burke averaged 13.2 points while shooting 33.2 percent from the three. Compare that to the 12.5 points and 30.5 three-point percentage he averaged as starter during the previous season.
At the start of last season, even with Exum’s ACL injury, Snyder continued to rely on Burke to lead the second unit off the bench. Rookie Raul Neto started in Dante’s place. With the acquisition of Shelvin Mack from the Atlanta Hawks in February, the lineup was shaken up again and Burke’s role became even smaller.
There wasn’t way for Snyder to play all three point guards. The Jazz coach relied on Mack, who the Jazz acquired specifically to be a starting point guard, and Neto, who proved capable of playing defense off the bench. So Burke was left out rotation.
Until very recently, Trey has always been the kind of player that has gotten all the minutes, touches and shots he has wanted. He’s a good player and has worked hard. But it just hasn’t paid off in Utah. It has to be frustrating for Burke.
In the past, we’ve seen players (ahem) who allow this kind of frustration to prevent them from being a team player. But Trey has turned his frustration into motivation. All season long, Trey stayed in shape and ready to play in case he was needed. He turned his focus to contributing when and where he can. For that, Jazz fans are grateful.
“I just have to stay positive and support my teammates and be a good teammate,” Burke told the Salt Lake Tribune several months back. “At this point, that’s all I can do, so it’s very important to go and get extra work in and stay focused.”
NBA rumors regarding the potential trade of Trey Burke have been around for well over a year now. But with five point guards (and the draft rights to multiple other point guards) currently on the roster, it looks like it’s finally time to get Trey out of here.
Burke is still under a team-friendly $3,386,598 contract through next season. So if the Jazz fail to make a trade, they may have to negotiate a buyout, which would allow Burke to become an unrestricted free agent this year.
Many, however, feel that a deal can be made that works for both parties. Trey can be traded to a team that will benefit from his talents, and the Jazz can simplify their point guard surplus. It’s just a matter of getting a deal made.