BROOKLYN – Less than a week ago, Alec Burks was in the Barclay Center because Utah Jazz was playing Brooklyn…
BROOKLYN – Less than a week ago, Alec Burks was in the Barclay Center because Utah Jazz was playing Brooklyn Nets. That’s when he got the news: Burks had been traded to Cleveland Cavaliers along with a couple of other picks in exchange for Kyle Korver.
Late Monday evening at the same court where he was early and his life forever, Burks turned to his new teammates after his two-handed dunk saved Cavs from a quarterly collapse.
Talk about full circle.
“I did not even see it so,” Burks said. “But yes, that’s crazy. Maybe I’ll look back later this whole.”
Meanwhile, Burks still has a lot of work to do. He knows. Considering his contractual situation, an outgoing $ 1
1.5 million deal, he is one of Cleveland’s most appealing trading chips. For a team that wants to acquire assets, they can not have any other choice.
The Cavs are not interested in shopping Kevin Love, unless they are blown away by an offer. They signed him for a lucrative extension this low season and it was not a deal just about this year. They want him around for a long time, when Collin Sexton is more mature, when other youths are added and the vision comes into focus.
JR Smith is at home and his sole value comes in the form of a contract that is not fully guaranteed after this season. Tristan Thompson has become the team’s anchor and leader, what kind of player a rebuilding team needs. Cedi Osman is still seen as part of this team’s future. Who knows how much Cavs can get for George Hill, a 32-year-old punisher who has treated injuries in recent seasons and saw that his production has decreased.
It leaves Burks. His contract may even have more value than he brings to court. Although performances like the one he had in Brooklyn were quite the opposite.
After the game Burks was asked if Cleveland is where he wants to be.
“Hopefully, it’s not up to me,” said Burks. “We will see what’s happening.”
However, it can not be easy to have that question hovering over him. Rodney Hood acknowledged that his contract year and trading to Cleveland in February was a heavyweight. He lost himself and had difficulty keeping himself focused. Hood will use that experience, his own shortcomings, to help manage his friend Burks.
“It’s tough. But he’s a mature man,” Hood said at cleveland.com. “This is his eighth year. We start learning about the business as we move on. As long as you have a job in the league, it’s good. I’m sure he’s good and at peace with it. Alec can flourish here. “
Burks does his best to focus on this opportunity. It is essentially his trial period. So far so good.
Head coach Larry Drew is raging about Burk’s fit, pointing to his speed, playmaking, ball handling and athleticism. Everything was on display at the late clock barrel.
“It’s his game. He attacks the basket,” said Drew. “Because he is so athletic, he can maneuver to the basket and take a shot. The only thing I tried to do was want to be aggressive at the game in the last round. If the same shot had not entered, just wanted to make them overtime. We would get the last shot. He did a really good move with the basketball. “
Although Burks is still acclimatized and acknowledges that chemistry needs to keep a building and he is not in a good rhythm yet, it helps he has Hood and ex- teammate hill – the other two players temporarily involved in the set that led to the game-winning dunk against Brooklyn.
With the shot out and the point bound Drew called the game for Burks. Three matches in his cavalier mission, the beginner was the team’s go-to guy.
Not Jordan Clarkson, who bricked a jumper on the previous holding. Not Sexton – he was on the bench, left at 2:42 in the fourth quarter. Inte Hill, who woke up late to magic in November and had an expensive turnover at the last minute of Monday. Not Hood, who had an off night.
It was Burks. Next stage in his audition.
The game was designed for Hood to set a shell screen. When the net switched and put Spencer Dinwiddie on Burks it was time to go. Dinwiddie had five mistakes. He did not want to fetch another if the game went into overtime. It had Burk’s thinking attack all the way.
“He would be unwilling to make any bad decisions, so I just tried to be aggressive,” Burks said. “It feels good.” (Drew) trusts my talent, my abilities and my teammates trust me. I’ve only known them for what, three days and they trust me too. So that’s a good feeling. Burks was all smiles leaving Brooklyn this time, quite different from the swirl wind Wednesday when he left the arena, his teammates and the only franchise he ever knew.
That night there was no warning. Burks found just before the news broadcast Twitter. He tried to process what just happened, try to take care of his future, which is still foggy.
Nights like Monday can start clearing it.