But as to where he would report for the training camp will be up for discussion in the next 24 hours that could drag until summer as the Knicks are reportedly trying to move him along with Nerlens Noel to clear the necessary cap space to make a run at Dallas Mavericks’ breakout star Jalen Brunson or possibly get in the mix of the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes if the polarizing Brooklyn Nets guard elects to enter free agency.
The timing of the Burks’ injury, though, couldn’t come at the worse possible time with the trade buzz ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft. Jeff Stotts, a certified athletic trainer, who tracks and explains NBA injuries through his website, instreetclothes.com, noted that this is the fifth lower extremity surgery for the 30-year-old Burks since December of 2015.
But this past season, Burks was an iron man, playing in 81 of the 82 regular-season games. He averaged 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists while playing out of his natural position for most of the season.
Thrust into starting point guard duties after the Kemba Walker experiment failed and Derrick Rose was unable to return from an ankle injury, Burks’ efficiency took a hit as he shot a career-low 39.1 percent from the field while playing 28.6 minutes a night. But he was a reliable three-point shooter hitting above 40 percent for the third straight season.
Burks had been a trade candidate since he signed a three-year deal with the third year as a team option to return to the Knicks last summer. He was almost shipped at the trade deadline as part of the scuttled three-way trade with the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline, which also involved Noel.
After the deal broke down, he soldiered on, and Thibodeau praised him for his professionalism. Burks is viewed around the league as a steady veteran who can contribute off the bench for a contender. He is owed $10 million next season and has a team option the following year, making his contract attractive to teams looking to clear cap space for the 2023 free agency. But this recent injury may have hurt his trade value.
Fred Katz of The Athletic was the first to break the news of Burks’ injury.
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