Michigan Basketball: Trey Burke gets another chance in the NBA

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

College basketball stars come and go, some survive in the NBA, some don’t.  Former Michigan basketball star Trey Burke gets another chance to stick.

This time the former Michigan basketball legend will try and make good on his second chance with the Dallas Mavericks signing a deal for the remainder of the 2020 season after Willie Cauley-Stein opted not to return when competition restarts.

When I think about Trey Burke, the first thing I recall is that ‘shot’ he made in the 2013 NCAA March Madness tournament.  If you need a refresher, the Michigan basketball guard made a 30-foot, three-point shot against Kansas to force overtime.  Burke would not be denied, even with the hand of the 6-foot-8, Kevin Young in his face, the ball found all net.

At the time, the Wolverines did not have a time out remaining.  The shot came after a missed free throw that surely would have sealed the sweet sixteen victory for Kansas, but after Elijah Johnson‘s miss, Burke had just over 11-seconds to convert.  Before that, the Wolverines had been down a mere 14 points with about six minutes remaining in the second half.  As the Wolverines chipped away at the lead, the momentum started to sway.

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That dribble, step-back three-pointer could be heard throughout the State of Michigan and beyond. Michigan basketball fans rejoice.

Burke also produced five points in the overtime period leading the Wolverines past the Jayhawks en route to an appearance in the elite eight. It was a very memorable season in Ann Arbor as the Wolverines cruised to a National Championship appearance after efficiently disposing Florida and then a tight victory over Syracuse.

Michigan basketball failed to turn their cinderella run into a championship losing in the 2013 final in a close battle with Louisville.  Burke scored a game-high 24 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Wolverines lost 82-76.

While the former Wolverine star enjoyed a stellar college career averaging a tick below 17 points per game to go with 3.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists, things haven’t been so comfortable at the professional level.

The 27-year old is a former top-ten pick after being selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the ninth pick in the 2013 NBA draft.  In what happens so often at the NBA draft, the pick was made to be traded.  Burke didn’t play a game for the Wolves; he would start his career with the Utah Jazz.

Burke played three seasons with the Jazz averaging 28.2 minutes per night, scoring 12.1 points while shooting a career-low 32.9% from beyond the arc.

It was just the beginning of the point guards’ heavily traveled seven-year career.  Burke’s had stops in New York with the Knicks, Washington, Dallas, and Philadelphia.  He’s struggled to stick with a club, but he will get another chance with a familiar face once the league resumes play in 2020.

Burke will try his luck again with the Dallas Mavericks alongside his college teammate Tim Hardaway jr.  The pair also played together in New York and were part of the deal that sent center Kristaps Porzingis to Mark Cuban’s Mavs.  Although Burke failed to adhere the first time, he will try to provide the Dallas bench with some depth scoring during his second stint.

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Burke is also an insurance policy for the Mavs during the uncertainty of playing during a World-wide pandemic when on any given day, a teammate could be shut down by contracting the virus.  Burke had been released by the 76ers back in February, averaged just 5.9 points in 25 contests.