After missing the start of the year due to a hand injury, Burke struggled with inefficiency from the field, a battle that would last throughout the rest of the season (Burke had an effective field goal percentage of 44.2 percent, per NBA.com/stats).
Burke’s struggles in his rookie year forced the Jazz to start looking elsewhere, which resulted in the team taking Australian prospect Dante Exum with the fourth overall pick in the ensuing draft.
From there, Burke was starting to fight an uphill battle to take hold of his place within a steadily improving Jazz team.
Burke’s efficiency issues continued the following year and eventually, Burke lost his starting job to Exum. Although the Jazz elected not to upgrade their point guard position following Exum’s ACL injury, Burke failed to regain his former starting job.
“We’re in no rush,” Brooks stated. “We want to make sure that he’s ready. It’s a process. We still have all of training camp. We’ll see. We’re going to keep working, keep pushing him. The one thing about John. He puts the work in.”
Obviously Burke would be the biggest beneficiary if Wall were to possibly miss time at the start of the year.
Whether that holds or not, we don’t know, but what stands is that Burke has a real chance to use this opportunity to back up Wall as a chance to revitalize his career.
Of course, Burke’s role is a far cry from where he started when he entered the league. With that said, Burke could have a real shot to parlay this into something greater, both on and off the court, if things were to break the right way.
Giving Burke the benefit of the doubt on that seems a little far fetched, given how his career has unfolded so far. Nonetheless, Burke is at a crossroads in his career, not unlike a few of his fellow draft classmates.
Things haven’t gone according to plan for Burke thus far in his NBA journey, but there’s no time like the present for him to regroup, in hopes of his career becoming something other than a missed opportunity.