Jun 26, 2013, 2:33 PM EST
NEW YORK – When Trey Burke committed to Michigan, the Wolverines still had Darius Morris. Though Morris’ NBA success as a Lakers second-round pick has been moderate at best, he was a star at Michigan.
Morris left early for the NBA before Burke arrived in Ann Arbor, but Burke’s preparation for playing with Morris could be helpful now. That’s because, whenever he hears his name called in Thursday’s NBA Draft, Burke will almost certainly join a team with a point guard who’s seen as more NBA-ready and/or possessing of more upside.
When discussing the Kings, Burke even mentioned Isaiah Thomas – “who was the 60th pick and showed that a lot of teams shouldn’t have passed up on him” – before DeMarcus Cousins, or any other Sacramento player for that matter.
But it’s not just the Kings who would present point-guard competition for Burke.
Burke considers his range in tomorrow NBA’s NBA Draft No. 2 to No. 8, and all the teams in that range already have point guards:
- No. 2 Magic: Jameer Nelson
- No. 3 Wizards: John Wall
- No. 4 Bobcats: Kemba Walker
- No. 5 Suns: Goran Dragic, Kendall Marshall
- No. 6 Pelicans: Greivis Vasquez, Austin Rivers
- No. 7 Kings: Isaiah Thomas
- No. 8 Pistons: Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Jose Calderon (free agent)
Whichever of those teams draft Burke, those point guards better take notice. When preparing to playing with Morris, Burke developed a plan of attack for dealing with a potentially awkward situation.
“Well, it’s the offseason right now,” Burke said. “I wouldn’t say it’s great to compete with a teammate, but I think that’s the right thing to do right now. It will make not only me better, but him as well. Once the seasons starts, there’s no more competing between us.”
Burke said his ambitions were limited when he thought he’d share a roster with Morris – “compete for some minutes,” as Morris put it – but without the returning starter in the way, Burke soared.
Many Michigan fans questioned why Morris would turn pro just to become a second-round pick. By midway through Burke’s freshman season, they questioned whether Morris would have kept his starting job had he stayed.
Burke undoubtedly learned a lot from his experiences at Michigan that will prepare him for the NBA. But it’s the preparation for the experience he never had that could prove especially important.
“I’m in the same predicament right now,” Burke said. “Like I said, I love challenges. I think it makes me stronger, not only as a player, but as a person, mentally. I’m excited.”
Mar 4, 2015, 2:55 AM EST
Denver wins for its new coach.
Mar 4, 2015, 1:55 AM EST
Hawks fans booed Smith every time he touched the ball.
Mar 4, 2015, 12:15 AM EST
Tony Snell is not THAT good at getting open
Mar 3, 2015, 11:33 PM EST
Smith can’t stop shooting 3s, though, and you know how that ends
Mar 3, 2015, 10:50 PM EST
It was only a matter of time
Mar 3, 2015, 10:08 PM EST
Will he stay with Mavericks?
Mar 3, 2015, 9:08 PM EST
Denver should reciprocate
Mar 3, 2015, 8:08 PM EST
Boston reportedly also plans to try for Marc Gasol, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler
Mar 3, 2015, 7:20 PM EST
They say this was a one-time incident.
Mar 3, 2015, 6:34 PM EST
Yesterday’s Heat-Suns game got physical
Mar 3, 2015, 5:50 PM EST
The list for him is much longer than just two teams. Much longer.
Mar 3, 2015, 5:08 PM EST
What kind of team are they trying to build.
Mar 3, 2015, 4:04 PM EST
The Kings retired his No. 21 jersey.
Mar 3, 2015, 2:55 PM EST
Irving has missed two straight games with a shoulder strain.
Mar 3, 2015, 2:10 PM EST
Shaw was an assistant coach in Indiana before landing the head coaching spot in Denver.
Mar 3, 2015, 1:25 PM EST
Good news for OKC.
Mar 3, 2015, 12:38 PM EST
Nuggets are 20-39 this season.
Mar 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EST
Barnes isn’t wrong that the punishment for him doing something like this would have been much more severe.
Mar 3, 2015, 11:50 AM EST
Clippers have a reputation with the referees, which likely was why Redick was tossed for seemingly innocuous comments.
Mar 3, 2015, 11:10 AM EST
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Tuesday: The Hawks clinched playoff spot in front of Josh Smith 0
- Nuggets need to decide direction, then hire coach 18
- Report: Russell Westbrook ‘likely’ to return to Thunder lineup Wednesday, will wear protective mask 13
- Nuggets have fired head coach Brian Shaw 29
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Monday: Goran Dragic got his revenge in concentrated form 5
- League suspends James Harden one game for kick to LeBron James’ groin 23
- PBT’s weekly NBA Power Rankings: Hawks seem to be out of malaise. Maybe. 11
- Report: Jimmy Butler could miss three to four weeks with elbow injury 7