Trey Burke has been involved in an NBA trade before. But when the Dallas Mavericks acquired the 6-1, 175-pound point guard from the New York Knicks on Jan. 31, it was the first time he had been involved in an in-season trade.
And that came with a different type of adjustment for the former Michigan All-American. So too did all the wild rumors leading up to the actual trade to the Mavs.
“It is a tough period because you hear your name in (trade) rumors, but I think you’ve just got to stay in the moment,” Burke said. “At a time like that you just got to stay in the moment and make sure that you’re focused on things that are right in front of you rather than looking at another situation, or even reading into that stuff.
“I think the guys that don’t look into that stuff kind of do the best. You just got to focus on the things that’s priority, the things that’s right in front of you, and that’s getting better for whoever you are in that situation.”
While admitting that the trade from the Knicks to Dallas caught him totally off-guard, Burke noted that he was very excited to join the Mavs, mainly because it afforded him an opportunity to re-start his career.
As far as the difference in playing for the Mavs and Knicks, Burke said coach Rick Carlisle told him to look for more drive-and-kick opportunities that would help set the stage for more 3-point opportunities. Those were adjustments the six-year veteran managed very well as he averaged 9.7 points and 2.6 assists while averaging just 17.4 minutes in 25 games for the Mavs this season.
“I think more-so (Carlisle) talked about not settling for what the defense is giving us,” Burke said. “I think a lot of teams in the league are giving up that two-point shot, and I think that’s one of my higher percentage shots.
“I don’t think it’s something I’m going to just erase out of my game. But I’m definitely aware of it and I’m definitely conscious of trying to shoot more threes, and in transition kicking it ahead.”
Overall, Burke shot a respectable 46.3 percent from the field for the Mavs this past season, including 35.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. He plans to spend part of the offseason working on improving that latter number.
“There are definitely areas I can improve on,” said Burke, who becomes a free agent on July 1. “Sometimes we feel the need to get (the basketball) and then go full-court, and then try to find something once we get there.
“But I think it’s easier when you kick it ahead and the ball comes back to you and now you can make a play. Like I said, it’s definitely something that’s kind of new to me, but I think it’s going to help me in the long run.”