Wolverines in the NBA -- 2014-15 Updates

Figured it could be nice to have a thread to track Michigan players in the NBA now that there’s enough to make it worthwhile.

Nik Stauskas had 13 points on 5-6 shooting last night for the Kings.

First two Toronto highlights in the linked video, Stauskas gets stuck behind a screen and his guy hits a 3. Not really news, but the video verifies that he’ll be fine offensively and struggle defensively. I’m sure he’ll work hard to improve on that end of the court.

He missed a couple of key shots down the stretch but I thought he played relatively well overall


Why not right?

Thanks guys…tough life for Nick.

A picture of Nik taking a picture of money. Sure, why not.

It must be nice…

GRIII only got 12 minutes in their first game, but it looks like he made the most of it. In the highlights in the following link, he makes a couple nice passes. As I said before the draft, he is going to be a great teammate and a good representative of an organization.

Knicks got killed, but THJr had some good stats:

Looks like McGary got the start and a lot of minutes. Made a nice drive and pass. Surprised he didn’t get more rebounds.

Well this sucks. Mitch has run into bad luck lately. Get well big man

McGary is on track to become one of the biggest “what ifs” for a Michigan athlete ever. And it’s not like keeps injuring the same thing. Just bad luck.

Game is slowing down for Trey Burke in Utah.

Seems like the NBA is promoting Stauskas. He only had 4 points, but both his makes were in the highlights.

I know Dylan posted the update above, and it appeared Trey may have been making some progress in Utah. Last night I watched him live vs. the Lakers (big Lakers fan), and Trey did not look good…he takes, and misses, a lot of shots that would be threes in college, but are just long 2 point jumpshots in the league…a very low percentage shot. When I watch Trey out there, he just looks like a guy that is stuck between a PG & SG, but without the size/athleticism to play the 2, and while he does make some nice passes at times, he makes really poor decision at others. He’s just not a true PG in the league. Much like I said a few months back, Utah isn’t playing Exum and Trey together very much, because both need to dominate the ball to be effective. Exum’s jumpshot is still very much a work in practice, but I think he’s a better playmaker than Trey already from what I viewed last night. Caveats obviously apply because it’s only 1 preseason game, so I don’t know that you can take much from it.

BurkeDoesWork - you seem to watch Trey more than the rest of us, any thoughts or insights?

I haven’t watched any of the preseason games thus far for the Jazz, but I have been checking the box scores after games. Last night was Trey’s worst night statistically of the preseason as far as shooting percentage and points go. Ironically, it was also his best +/- of the preseason, but it was against the lowly Lakers so doesn’t mean too much.

I watched the 4th quarter of last night’s game, and by then it was just Exum in the game and Burke was done for the night. From what I saw, Exum looks good, but he is like 2 years away from being NBA ready. He turns the ball over a lot and really needs to work on his decision making skills if he wants to be a starting PG in the league. He made 2/3 from 3 when I watched him played, but he definitely still needs to work on his shot, so he probably won’t be playing alongside Burke too often. Additionally, Exum needs to work on his physicality because he was having trouble scoring at the rim.

With all of that said, I’ll now talk about what I’ve seen from Trey and his overall fit with the Jazz going forward. So Trey has actually been pretty good so far this preseason. I think he’s averaging about 14 PPG and 6 APG, which is decent for a starting PG and 3rd option on the team. Yes it’s the preseason but I think he has made some real strides in his game from last season. He struggled with his 3 point shot last year, but he is hitting them at a high clip during the 4 preseason games. In addition to that, Trey will get you 6-8 APG almost every night and at the same time turns it over very little, so he definitely is more efficient than many of his counterparts. His defense has improved some, but still nothing special. So on to the negatives. Like you said Matt, Trey isn’t a pure PG, he definitely has the score first mentality. He’s more of a combo guard that can also find the open man. A lot of people have actually compared him to Derek Fisher. Trey’s biggest weakness will always be his below average athleticism and speed. He has a really difficult time getting to the rim and making shots, which eliminates a lot of scoring opportunities for him (including limited FT attempts). Trey has to resort to long jumpers that may not always be the most efficient shot. If Trey’s shot isn’t falling, then he won’t be scoring and because Utah doesn’t have the most proven scorers, he often has to force the issue, and his shooting % suffers as a result. If Trey is surrounded by capable players (read: offensive threats) and is allowed to pick his spots, rather than be forced to drop bombs 3 feet behind the 3 point line, I think he can be an above average player in the league.

And lastly, what is Trey’s future with the Jazz. It all really depends on how fast Dante Exum can develop as a 2. If he can get a consistent shot and learn how to play off ball, then Trey has a future as Utah’s PG. If not, then I think Trey will probably be traded just because Exum is seen as a higher ceiling player and there is more invested in him. Utah’s HC says that it doesn’t matter who plays PG because their offense will allow multiple players to push the ball, but I don’t believe it and think that Trey will get traded if Exum can’t develop as a 2 because there is too much overlap of skills between the players.

Thanks BDW, glad to see Trey making strides.