Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. are both on the NBA draft workout circuit this week. While Hardaway is eyeing 13 or 14 workouts before the June 27th NBA Draft, Trey Burke has just three individual workouts scheduled or completed.
Burke worked out with the Phoenix Suns on Thursday and will workout with the Sacramento Kings today before a workout with the New Orleans Pelicans next week. All of Burke’s workouts will be individual workouts. Burke reported that the Phoenix workout was his first for a NBA team.
Burke spoke with the media after his workout in Phoenix:
Reports have Tim Hardaway Jr. working out with Milwaukee, Minnesota, San Antonio, New York and Chicago in the last two weeks. He’s also Instagrammed pictures of Dallas and Oklahoma City’s workout facilities.
The latest Draft Express mock (via Yahoo! Sports) has Trey Burke headed to Sacramento with the No. 7 pick.
With Sacramento’s messy ownership situation finally resolved, Kings fans can move on from the painful Maloof era and start looking forward to a new arena and likely a new front office. Until a GM is hired, it’s anyone’s guess who will be calling the shots from the war room, although it’s clear that the team is missing quite a bit of talent to make the playoffs after a seven-year drought. Point guard, small forward and power forward are all positions the Kings need to address at some stage, and there should be plenty of talented options to choose from. In the event that Burke somehow slips to here, the Kings would surely jump on him
However, Draft Express does like Hardaway as a first rounder – slotting him 25th overall to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers’ No. 1 priority this summer will be to re-sign Chris Paul, which could give them the flexibility to use the highly coveted Eric Bledsoe as trade bait to improve their roster. Bledsoe is actually the only non-starter with a guaranteed contract next season, meaning the front office could have plenty of holes to fill on the wing and in the frontcourt. Since its unlikely the team will find a point guard ready to play a real role with what’s available on the board in this current scenario, adding a shooter/scorer like Hardaway could be attractive. He has the size to play either wing position, giving him the flexibility to play alongside Jamal Crawford or Caron Butler, depending on the situation.
CBS Sports’ Gary Parris is much higher on Trey Burke than anyone at this point and is one of the few national writers to project Burke No. 2 to Orlando; he also has Hardaway at No. 36 to Sacramento.
Trey Burke, PG, Michigan: Some say this is too high, but I’m not sure that’s true. In a draft with more questions than answers, why not make Jameer Nelson’s replacement the National Player of the Year who is also a proven winner and the best point guard available?
Chad Ford’s latest mock draft leaves Burke at No. 7 to Sacramento.
It’s hard to project anything for the Kings right now until a new GM is in place. The truth is, whoever comes in is likely to clean house. The Kings will be starting over to some extent. Other GMs are salivating at the possibility of DeMarcus Cousins being available, but unless the Kings are blown away with an offer, I doubt they’ll trade him before the draft. So, I’m just placing the next player on our Big Board here. However, Burke actually does make sense for Sacramento. He’s more of a true point guard than anyone currently on the roster, and he’s a winner — something the Kings need.
No chance New Orleans passes on Burke. Austin Rivers showed he is not a point guard, and if given the chance to take Burke – who had an outside shot at the top pick – the Pelicans will rush the stage on draft night. With Rivers and Eric Gordon, the Pelicans are deep at shooting guard and can even entertain trade offers for Gordon, who is signed to a massive extension.
The Pelicans took their centerpiece last year in Anthony Davis. Now New Orleans must surround him with talent. Burke is one of the quickest guards in the draft and can get by most defenders. With as much success as rookie point men have had the last few seasons, the Pelicans look to get theirs.
Kotoch is also much higher on Hardaway, projecting him at No. 22 to Brooklyn.
Under owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s watch, the pressure is on GM Billy King to get results. And that means making moves geared toward getting help now.
The Nets got great production from reserve forwards Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans but failed to get much from their guards off the bench. With that in mind, adding a shooter such as Hardaway who can help right away is what the Nets likely will be thinking with this pick.
Hardaway, a player the Nets really like a lot, can help space the floor and gives Brooklyn protection behind Joe Johnson.
Burke seems destined for the top ten, likely in the No. 6 or No. 7 slots while Hardaway inches closer and closer toward being a solid first round pick.
The Point Guard Debate
The media has seemed to turn on Burke’s draft status a bit in recent days. Andy Glockner wrote a piece questioning Burke’s potential and now ESPN has brought up the issue in a debate piece between Jay Bilas and Chad Ford. While both say that Michael Carter-Williams has the higher ceiling, Bilas thinks Burke is a future All-Star.
Bilas: Yes. Burke reminds me of Chris Paul, just not as quick or explosive. But while Burke is not a Ty Lawson-like jet, he is far from athletically challenged. I believe Burke will be a successful point guard in the NBA, and will play his way into at least one NBA All-Star Game.
Watch the video debate here. Nick Baumgardner highlights some of the criticism that Burke has received in recent days and finds a Tim Hardaway Jr. quote that jives with my opinion of the whole debate. Don’t bet against Trey Burke.
“He’s just a dog, just a straight up dog,” Hardaway said. “He doesn’t take no for an answer and when I say he hates to lose, he hates to lose. He’s the ultimate competitor and that’s going to roll with him his entire life.
“He’s a positive leader, everyone wanted to be behind him and he really showed that. When we had our ups and downs, people went to him to see what he would say. He’s a leader, and he’s a competitor.”
Burke wasn’t supposed to be big enough or athletic enough coming out of high school either. He ended up as the best player in the country after two seasons.