New York Knicks: Where does Trey Burke fit into the franchise’s future?

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 25: Trey Burke #23 of the New York Knicks brings the ball down the court against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on January 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 25: Trey Burke #23 of the New York Knicks brings the ball down the court against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on January 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

With a contract year approaching for the former lottery-pick, Trey Burke has an opportunity to assert himself into the New York Knicks’ future plans.

One of the bright spots of a relatively dreary 2017-2018 season for the New York Knicks was the emergence of point guard Trey Burke toward the end of the season.

The former Michigan Wolverine was brought up from the G-League about midway through the season before proceeding to average 12.8 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in 36 games.

The former ninth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft has had a roller coaster of a career thus far.

Burke averaged 12.8 points his first two seasons in the Association with the Utah Jazz, enough to earn him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie squad in 2014.

After a disappointing third year in which his averages dropped to 10.6 points and 2.3 assists, Burke joined the Washington Wizards and averaged only 5.0 points, 1.8 assists, and 12.3 minutes per game in his only year in the nation’s capital.

The 25-year-old’s career started trending upward again when he signed with the Westchester Knicks last summer. In his 26 games with the team, he averaged 26.6 points and 5.3 assists while leading one of the most successful G-League teams of this past season.

His half-season with the Knicks was highlighted by a 42 point, 12 assist performance against the Charlotte Hornets this past March.

It was a long journey back to earning prominent NBA minutes for the guard who, along with Tim Hardaway Jr., led the Michigan Wolverines to a National Championship appearance in 2013.

With one year left on his contract in New York, this season will be Burke’s opportunity to build a resume to keep him with the Knicks into the 2019-2020 season.

The Knicks have a surplus of young point guards currently on the roster, but arguably none were as productive as Burke last season.

Being a former lottery selection, Burke’s talent has never been the issue with his game.

In an interview with CBS Sports last year, Burke admitted that it was off-court distractions which caused him to fall-off in his third and fourth years in the League.

According to the 2013 NCAA National Player of the Year, those issues are a thing of the past.

"“That Trey Burke — there was a lot of distractions going on with that Trey Burke. 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.”"

It is not hard to envision a future for Trey Burke in New York.

Burke has a solid chance to thrive in the up-tempo system head coach David Fizdale is attempting to implement in New York. The style of play could be a better situation for a playmaking point guard such as Trey Burke.

But with all of the point guards currently on the roster, will there be enough minutes to allow Burke to impress the front office?

Last year’s draft selection Frank Ntilikina will likely see a lot of minutes on the wing this coming year, allowing for a Burke-Ntilikina backcourt to exist, and likely be productive.

With Burke being an offensive-minded playmaker and Ntilikina being a lengthy, defensive-minded wing, the two could become an interesting duo while Tim Hardaway Jr. is on the bench.

In addition to this, it would most likely take the Knicks signing an established point guard in free agency next summer to push Burke down the depth chart if they were to re-sign him beyond this year.

With another lottery selection likely coming in the 2019 Draft, the upcoming draft class lacks lottery-esque talent at the point guard position as of right now.

Being only 25 years old and with loads of talent when it comes to playmaking and scoring the basketball, Trey Burke could be a solid rotation point guard in New York’s future, both short and long-term.

Next. 5 games to highlight on the 2018-19 schedule. dark

Whether the front office decides to bring him back next year or not, Knicks fans should enjoy watching the former lottery-pick take the next step in resurrecting his career in the 2018-2019 season.