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How Trey Burke has reinvented himself for this Knicks shot

Trey Burke, the Jazz lottery pick who fell from grace to the G League, says he’s a lot stabler than the rookie who entered the NBA as a cocky 19-year-old out of Michigan.

After attending the final week of Knicks training camp in October, Burke has starred for the Westchester Knicks — and he’s on the verge of being signed to the team’s 15-man roster once the team opens a roster spot.

“That Trey Burke — there was a lot of distractions going on with that Trey Burke,’’ Burke recently told CBS Sports. “That Trey Burke was 19 years old. This Trey Burke now, I’m married, I’m in the house, I’m not worried about things that a lot of players worry about.”

Burke got married in October and turned 25 in November — the sweet-spot age for the new Knicks regime. Burke’s interview was conducted before multiple reports that the Knicks are working on signing him.

He admitted he couldn’t escape the rampant media speculation in December that the Knicks would eventually sign him. Burke was named the G League Player of the Month.

“It’s kind of hard to do that in New York,” Burke said. “Even places that I go, people knowing me, you’re hearing it everywhere. You have your support system, your family talking about it. It’s a little tough.”

Burke was voted third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2014 after bring drafted ninth by Utah from Michigan, where he was a teammate of close friend Tim Hardaway Jr.

In his second go-round, Burke went to Washington last season and lost his backup job after the Wizards signed ex-Knicks point guard Brandon Jennings in February. Burke played 20 garbage-time minutes in the playoffs, when the Wizards’ run fell one win short of the conference finals.

In the CBS interview, Burke said Oklahoma City, Houston and the New Orleans Pelicans invited him to camp on non-guaranteed deals.

He chose the Knicks late in camp without time to dislodge veterans Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack, but knowing he’d get to showcase himself in the G League so he could “recreate my brand on and off the court, show teams what I really can do if I have the opportunity to run a team.”

He is averaging 26.6 points, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals, shooting 48.8 percent and making 41.6 percent of his 3-pointers. Westchester has the best record in the league, but Burke was held out of the G League showcase in the Toronto suburbs as the Knicks decide how to open up a roster spot, likely cutting or trading Sessions.

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“I had to look myself in the mirror and be real with myself,” Burke told CBS. “I had to kind of stop lying to myself about I should be here, I should be this, this team should put me in this position when I wasn’t doing everything necessary to put myself in that position.”

The Knicks need Jack insurance in case his knees don’t hold up to starter’s minutes. And Burke is insurance against rookie Frank Ntilikina hitting the rookie wall. He would probably be a spot player at first blush, but he’s still a dazzling penetrator. Scouts who saw him at Westchester said his effort on defense is still subpar, and Jeff Hornacek has made that an emphasis.

“I am a playmaker naturally,” Burke said. “Guys ask, ‘Are you a point guard? Are you a shooting guard?’ I believe I am a point guard and a shooting guard. I believe I’m both: a combo guard, you might say. I believe I can run a team as a point guard, though, and I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/01/11/how-trey-burke-has-reinvented-himself-for-this-knicks-shot/

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