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.
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.