Will Alec Burks Be Traded? No.

June 4th, 2015 | by Aaron Hefner
Alec Burks

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

With a budding player in Rodney Hood, another lottery draft pick, plenty of cap space, and rumors of Jazz intending to be very active in trade talks, it begs the question: Is Alec Burks on the trading block this summer? To put it simply, no.

Are there scenarios where he could be traded? Sure, just as there are scenarios where Derrick Favors could be traded, but it’s highly highly unlikely, and here are the reasons why:

  1. His injury
  2. His pre-injury 2014-2015 performance
  3. His contract extension ($10 million per year)

Not only did Alec Burks regress in terms of on court production in almost every major statistical category, but he also underwent serious surgery, and received an enormous pay raise.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Read that again, because that is an interesting combination of events. It isn’t any single one of those three bullet points that drastically reduces Burks trade value; it is the unique and unfortunate combination of all three.

This is somewhat elementary, but bear with me. When a player incurs a severe injury and hasn’t played in a game since that injury, it hurts his market value (e.g. Al Harrington and Eric Gordon). When a player regresses from the previous season, it hurts his market value (e.g. Hedo Turkoglu and Paul Millsap’s final year in Utah). When a player receives a new substantially larger contract without improving, it hurts his trade value (e.g. Kemba Walker and Larry Sanders). Alec Burks checks all three.

Burks represents a lot of risk for any team that would consider trading for him. Significant questions about Burks remain.

And while many teams would be willing to accept that risk, now they don’t have the luxury of rolling the dice on him while playing on a rookie contract. So are teams willing to take the risk with a fat $10 million bill attached? Will Burks fully recover from his injury, which he admitted forced him to relearn how to shoot? Are you positive his drop in TS%, PER, VORP, and BPM was just a product of a nagging injury or a new coach and system?

Most Jazz fans will answer all the previous questions with a resounding “Yes!”, but how will teams who don’t have an emotional attachment to him and haven’t been able to watch him rehab firsthand or converse with him privately answer those same questions? They will certainly be more dubious, and rightfully so. That doesn’t mean the Jazz won’t get calls inquiring about Burks, but the offers will leave a lot to be desired.

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Dennis Lindsey, the front office, and fans all believe in Alec Burks (as demonstrated by the contract extension). They not only think that he can return to form, they believe he has several more levels he can and will climb.

This likely equates to the Jazz valuing Burks at a level higher than the market (for all the previously stated reasons). This means that for the Jazz to trade Burks they will either have to find a team that, for whatever reason, values Burks at the same level the Jazz do (in spite of the injury, regression, and the big contract) or the Jazz will have to trade Burks below what they value him at.

Considering Dennis Lindsey has thus far proven to be an expert asset manager, I think it’s safe to say he won’t be selling low on Burks. Half a season of improved production from Burks could reverse his trade market value trend, which Lindsey surely knows.

So the next time you see Alec Burks listed in a hypothetical trade scenario or included in a trade rumor, rest easy, you’ll in all likelihood be watching Houdini perform in a Jazz uniform next season.

Aaron Hefner

Aaron Hefner

Aaron Hefner, a maniacal Jazz addict, currently resides in Austin, Texas. He is a recent BYU business grad and a current supply chain project manager. When not working, he enjoys quality time with his pregnant wife and his daughter. Aaron writes about the Jazz to avoid annoying his family and coworkers with NBA propaganda.
Aaron Hefner
Aaron Hefner

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11 Comments

  1. Mewko says:

    Great article. The Jazz value Alec Burks very highly. Judging from shoot-around, Alec has improved his jump shooting form. His legs are spaced perfectly apart when he jumps, and his release looks beautiful.

    He has been putting in some serious work this offseason. With lots of scrimmaging, and contact drills, I bet that perfected jump shot will work during real games, and not just shoot-around.

    I’m excited to see how he affects the team as a starter. I hope Alec helps the spacing, and brings more transition buckets before the defense gets fully set.

    • IDJazzman says:

      It was a well written and thought out article. Many fans think that DL can pull off some magical trade and bring in a franchise changer, when they could be trading away that franchise changer himself. I think DL knew Alec didn’t have a healthy shoulder when they inked his deal and as Jazz fans we all know that his decrease in production was due to the shoulder. As the article correctly pointed out, other teams are not willing to risk that kind of money on a player that is rehabbing from a fairly significant surgery, although those surgeries have been very successful, but players still take time to come back 100%. We might not see Alec at 100% until season after next. Alec is a keeper, don’t trade him. Don’t make another Korver, Carroll or Matthews mistake.

      • Mewko says:

        Yes. I had high hopes for Alec in 2014-15. There were several games the season before in which he had these scoring explosions, pretty frequently. Back then the Jazz didn’t have anyone capable of being the #1 scoring option. Hayward was bad at it, but if Alec consistently stringed those good games together, he could be that scorer.

        Now that he has a reparied shoulder, he might not be so reckless at slashing to the hoop. He’ll rely more on the outside jumper, but his scoring will help this team a lot next year, whether its 12 ppg off the bench, or 17 ppg and looking way improved.

        Quin got the Jazz to win 38, with little depth on the wing. He had to rely on Joe Ingles and Eli Millsap, who did better than I thought. Next year the Jazz can rely on Burks/Hood, and the point guards will have internal improvement.

        • Mewko says:

          And with those improvements, the Jazz can win 50 if they stay healthy. But no team has really stayed healthy 100%, so I’ll get back to you in October for my win-loss prediction.

  2. nehemias says:

    Alec is the truth!! I cant wait for him to explode this year He is worth a lot more to us than he is to anyone else keep him he will earn his starting spot

  3. LKA says:

    Picked Burks as a Jazzman when he was still playing with Colorado. While rehabing this year he sat on the bench, traveled with the team and learned first hand from coach Snyder. So he has already bought into the program with the other players. Mark it down now MIP next year..

  4. Injuries are a killer. So very few actually come back and play at an elite level. The most tragic case being Derrick Rose. I would love to see Alec flew right into the momentum this team had at the end of last year.

    • Patrick says:

      I agree. But there is a different between a leg/knee injury and a shoulder injury. Plus Alec has been playing with a bad shoulder since his Colorado days (I read that somewhere, but I cant find the source). I think he will be just fine.

  5. nehemias says:

    I think alec’s injury isn’t that serious obviously it affects his shooting but he will be pain free for the first time since his rookie year.

  6. Steve says:

    I dont see the Jazz brass trading Burks without giving him a chance to show what he can do in Quin’s system. Also, it sounded a lot like Burks used this injury to understand Quin’s system. I am not expecting a trade this offseason, unless it is to push back some of the assets timeframes. It makes a lot of sense to see this next season exactly what we’ve got and if the end of the year was a fluke.

  7. james says:

    it might be people are confusing alec burks with trey burke. which I’ve seen a lot of rumors or burke being dangled, I haven’t seen any of burks

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