Team: Utah Jazz
Position: Point Guard
Analysis: At Michigan last season, Trey Burke averaged 18.6 points, 6.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. He shot 46.3% from the field and led the Wolverines to the National Championship game. Burke then won virtually every major individual award there is, including the Wooden and Naismith awards. Simply put, Burke was the best player in college basketball.
Burke, who at one time many thought would be selected by the Orlando Magic with the second overall pick (they wound up going with Indiana guard Victor Oladipo), slid somewhat and was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the ninth overall pick. He was then dealt to the Utah Jazz in a deal involving the 14th and 21st overall picks (UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad and Senegalese big man Gorgui Dieng).
The Jazz then traded point guard Randy Foye and let their other point guard, veteran Mo Williams, walk (he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers). Obviously, these moves were made to clear the way for Burke to start from the get-go.
Burke’s skill, performance and college and the depth chart of the Jazz, make him an obvious Rookie of the Year candidate. However, Burke struggled mightily in the Las Vegas Summer League. Burke averaged 8.8 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 turnovers per game. Burke shot 24.1% from the field and was famously 1-of-19 from beyond the arc.
If Burke’s past is any indication, he won’t let a poor debut get into his head and should wind up having a solid rookie season.
Statistical Projection: 29 mpg, 12.2 ppg, 5.7 apg