Trey Burke was selected with the ninth overall pick in this summer’s draft, but was traded that night from the Timberwolves to the Jazz after Minnesota felt they could get better value by trading down to the 14th slot.
With eight players going ahead of him, Burke wouldn’t appear to be the favorite to take home the Rookie of the Year award this season, but for a variety of reasons, that’s exactly what he is.
And Burke doesn’t see any reason why the award shouldn’t ultimately be his.
From Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld:
While winning is clearly the most important thing to Burke, he also admits that he’d love to bring home Rookie of the Year honors. Burke believes he be a difference maker for the Jazz, and take home to the award.
“I definitely think I can potentially get that award,” Burke said of Rookie of the Year. “Coming off the season I had last year, I’m a confident player. My confidence is my strength. I definitely think there is a good chance that I could win it.”
Burke is going to get the opportunity to play heavy minutes in Utah right away, and showed an electric ability to score last season at Michigan, which makes his game an appealing one to watch should it translate to the NBA level.
His biggest competition for Rookie of the Year is likely to come from similarly dynamic players like Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, or even Ben McLemore. There are question marks surrounding most of the big men drafted, whether due to injury or overall fit in a rebuilding situation, which makes Burke’s goal all the more realistic.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.
This news is just sickening. In a world with just too much sickening news.
According to NBC 5 in Chicago (which spoke to police), Dwyane Wade‘s first cousin Nykea Aldridge was pushing a stroller down the street when she was shot and killed as an innocent in the crossfire of a gang shooting.
The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.
Wade tweeted this.
Aldridge was on her way to a local school to register her kids (they had just moved) when the shooting took place. There has been a rash of gang and gun violence in Chicago in the past year, and Dwyane’s mother Jolinda Wade had just been on a panel on ESPN’s Undefeated talking about it.
Wade is coming to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls this season.
Our thoughts are with Nykea Aldridge’s family and friends.