Atlanta Hawks should consider signing Trey Burke


General manager Travis Schlenk has had an interesting off-season for his debut with the Hawks. He has been active in the free agent market. Could he be saving his best for last with the final roster spot with guys like Trey Burke available?

How much do names like Dewayne Dedmon and Nicolas Brussino move the needle on the free agent acquisition meter? With all due respect to the newly signed Hawks, not many casual fans can say they’ve ever heard of them.

The decision to re-sign both Mike Muscala and Ersan Ilyasova, should give fans a couple more familiar faces amongst the new look team to root for. I for one, am especially pleased with the return of Ilyasova. He just has the type of skills that seem to be tailored for head coach Mike Budenholzer’s scheme of things.

There remains one last spot on the roster for Travis Schlenk to concern himself with. This is about the time on the playground when Billy Hoyle strolled towards the bleachers and started stretching during the classic “White Men Can’t Jump” movie.

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The available options for teams to fill out their rosters has dwindled down to mostly seasoned veterans and castaways. There is still a point guard out there that could be of immense value to the Hawks however. It’s quite the conundrum to me as to how and why he isn’t drawing much interest from many teams. In fact, according to’s free agent tracker, he doesn’t have even one team reportedly thinking of signing him.

Trey Burke was selected 9th overall in the 2013 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and traded to the Utah Jazz for the 14th and 21st picks. Those selections turned out being Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng. On perhaps the greatest night of his life, an occasion of which his wildest dreams had come true, the team that picked him didn’t really want him.

Trey Burke
WASHINGTON, DC –  FEBRUARY 13: Russell Westbrook /

His sorrowful misfortunes through the NBA get deeper and worse, but he was a phenomenal collegiate player. As a freshman, he led the Michigan Wolverines in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.. The following season he led Michigan to the national championship game along with former Hawks Tim Hardaway Jr and Glenn Robinson III.

He was projected to be the first point guard taken in the 2013 draft. Burke posted 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game in his final season at Michigan. The accuracy with which he scored the basketball was also impressive, making 46.3 percent of his field goals and 38.4 percent on 3 pointers. He collected nearly every possible award, winning the Wooden, Bob Cousy awards and was named the associated press national player of the year.

In the days leading up to the draft, many analysts had said he should have been the number 1 overall pick. Years later, upon looking at the other top picks, they were probably right. You may recall, that was the dreadful Anthony Bennett followed by Victor Olodepo draft.

Trey Burke
AUBURN HILLS, MI – APRIL 10: Trey Burke /

Trey Burke played his first 3 seasons for the Utah Jazz, which produced a mixed bag of results. His rookie year may have actually been his best, as he averaged 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists. Generously listed at 6’1″, 190 lbs, his scoring efficiency has not translated well at the NBA level. For the duration of 32.3 minutes per game in his rookie season, he connected on 38.0 of his field goals and 33.0 for triples.

The Jazz were not sold on Burke as their starting point guard, as he slowly fell out of favor. After he had an underwhelming sophomore year, scoring 12.8 points, with 2.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, the Jazz selected Australian point guard Dante Exum with the 5th overall pick back in 2014. Despite all of the injury troubles endured by Utah’s favorite young point guard, Burke could not cement himself as the starting point guard. Exum sat out the entirety of the 2015-16 season with a torn ACL.

Last summer, the Jazz traded Trey Burke to the Washington Wizards for a 2021 second round pick. His NBA stock wasn’t very good then, to be moved for a second round pick so far down the road. After posting averages of 5.0 points, 0.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists this past season for the Wizards in 12.3 minutes per game, it appears to have gotten worse.

Trey Burke

A player who scored at the rate he did in college though, leading his team to the championship game of the NCAA tournament, could still find success in the league. At 24 years old, the Hawks may want to take a chance on him. Especially following the departure of Jose Calderon and with Malcolm Delaney still around.

Burke has improved his shooting quite a bit, he shot 45.5 from the field and 44.3 from long range for the best mark of his career in Washington last year. Since the Hawks are known to be strong in developing players, he could provide the Hawks with an excellent back up to Dennis Schroder.

Burke has been fairly durable, playing in 70 and 76 games respectively, in his first two seasons. The only major injury to note he’s had, was having surgery to fix a broken finger, prior to making his NBA debut. That caused him to miss the first month of his rookie campaign.

He actually has an outstanding amount of talent. Some of his dribble moves are so elusive, translating to some exceptional ball handling. His outside shooting is an increasing strength, and can provide outstanding depth at the point guard spot. Again, it’s curious what has caused Trey Burke to reach this point.