Normally, the solo workout is a big no-no in my book – but not today. When the screen lifted inside the Sacramento Kings practice facility, newly-named head coach Michael Malone was the main attraction, as he was seen sending Trey Burke from one side of the court to the other. It was exhausting watching the Michigan point guard and NCAA Player of the Year hoist up shot after shot. I’m not sure this is what the 20-year-old prospect had signed up for, but it was flat out impressive.
Malone watched as the 6-foot-1, 187-pound guard caught pass after pass from former Kings assistant Bobby Jackson. When Burke’s shot fell flat, coach Malone would loudly clap his hands to wake up the top-10 pick. We’ve seen plenty of these workouts over the last few years, but nothing like this. There was coaching and bonding and in the end, hugs all around. This wasn’t a tryout, it was a clinic and the pupil held his own. If Burke wasn’t a fan of Sacramento before today, I believe that he is now.
- Position: Guard
- College: Michigan
- Height: 6-1
- Weight: 187 lbs.
- Chad Ford’s ESPN.com Top 100 Ranking: 6
- Quick Breakdown: Very good at running the pick and roll, strong point guard skills, physical and has range on his jump shot. Must improve intensity on the defensive end.
Burke is a well-defined, compact athlete, possessing a strong base and 6-foot-5.5-inch wingspan. At the combine, he showed an impressive 36.5-inch vertical leap and he is the type of player that plays beyond his testing numbers when the ball is in play.
We weren’t allowed to watch him do any ballhandling, but his college numbers say that not only is he a solid distributor, but he is a good decision-maker, too. In his sophomore year at Michigan, he averaged 6.7 assists and just 2.2 turnovers in 35 minutes for a sparkling 3-to-1 turnover ratio.
From today, we learned that he has a consistent perimeter shot, but fades slightly when tired. He is probably road weary from the workout process, but it’s early and he needs to get used to it. Malone worked with him extensively on 18-foot jumpers and 3-point shooting while the curtain was up. Burke needs to work on his footwork off the catch and shoot. While his shooting mechanics are sound, including a nice high arching release, he has an unnatural stagger in his stance, which gives him an inconsistent result. As a scoring point guard, Burke probably doesn’t have a lot of experience working off the ball, so he will have extra work to do in this area.
As an interviewee, we found him honest and engaging. Burke is confident, but not in an obnoxious way. He made very good eye contact and was attentive to each interviewer. He speaks in a conversational manner, not in cliques, and didn’t seem overly coached in this area. While he said he wouldn’t mind working out against other players, his agent, who also doubles as his father, has decided for now that he’ll only do individual workouts.
On a side note, Geoff Petrie was not in attendance for today’s workout because he was overseas scouting. Mike Petrie, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Scotty Stirling, Wayne Cooper, Fat Lever and Jerry Reynolds all watched the action carefully alongside new co-owner Mark Mastrov.