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Wizards Add Burke to Bolster Backcourt

July 7, 2016

The Wizards' bench will look quite different in 2016-17 and part of that makeover will be their new backup point guard, Trey Burke.  The team traded a future second round pick to the Utah Jazz for Burke, who is entering the last year of his rookie contract.  

Burke spent the last three seasons in Utah, where he was their #9 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.  He had a stellar rookie campaign, starting in 68 of his 70 games played, while averaging 12.8 ppg and 5.7 apg.  Then in his second season, he again averaged 12.8 points ppg, while splitting his time between the starting lineup and a reserve role. This past season, he was strictly used off the bench and played just 21 minutes per game, seeing his numbers dip to 10.3 ppg and 2.3 apg.  His shooting numbers improved, as he shot a career-best 41% from the field and 34% from 3-point range, something the Wizards hope will improve for their second unit next season. 

Burke was highly coveted coming out of Michigan three years ago, after leading his Wolverines to the NCAA Championship game.  His biggest moment of that tournament likely being the 3-pointer he hit in the Sweet 16 to force overtime against Kansas.  

He was then drafted ninth overall by the Jazz in the 2013 draft. At 6'0, he's an undersized point guard who may have trouble defending some of the bigger guards in the league. But, he's a very skilled offensive player who can handle the ball and provide a punch off the bench. He'll likely fill the role left by Ramon Sessions, who had been backing up John Wall for the last year and a half. Like Sessions would at times, Burke may also play with Wall, depending on matchups and how new head coach Scott Brooks wants to distribute the minutes. With Tomas Satoransky also in the mix and also able to play point guard, the Wizards should have plenty of options for ball-handlers after Wall.