Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com Point guard Trey Burke talks to the media after working out for the Kings on Friday. Burke led Michigan to the NCAA title game as a sophomore last season.

Michigan's Burke works out for Kings

Published: Saturday, Jun. 8, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 - 7:11 am

Trey Burke was asked why his predraft workouts have been conducted individually.

The sophomore from Michigan said he wouldn't mind competition in workouts but has deferred to a wiser voice.

"I've always been a competitor since I was a young kid," Burke said. "But my agent just told me, 'It's no point working out against other players. You might as well work out by yourself.' "

In Burke's case, it's a matter of father knows best. Burke's agent is his father, Benji Burke.

The younger Burke might be the top point guard in this year's NBA draft, and the Kings took a close look at him in a workout Friday at the team's practice facility.

Rather than hire a big-name agent, Burke is working with his father.

The future looks good, as Trey stands to be a high draft choice.

Benji said it's "not always a good thing" for father and son to do business, but this relationship is working well.

And Burke knows when Dad is being Dad, not an agent.

Benji was pleased his son didn't answer the question about his individual workouts along the lines of, "My daddy made me."

"I'm also working with a team of guys, but he knows how to answer questions and stay professional," Benji said. "I'm glad he answered that way."

The Kings' locker room could use some added professionalism.

Burke was the consensus National Player of the Year and a consensus All-American as a sophomore. He led the Wolverines to the NCAA championship game, in which they lost to Louisville.

Burke, 6-foot-1 and 187 pounds, averaged 18.6 points and 6.7 assists last season.

Burke said returning to Michigan for a second season allowed him to mature physically and mentally.

"Just growing as a person, growing in your game on the court," he said. "Watching film and just continuing to improve. I could have came out after my freshman year, but I think the best decision was to go back and polish up my game."

Benji said the extra year at Michigan helped his son grow as a leader. The Wolverines started as many as three freshmen, and Burke was a steadying influence.

Benji said his son became more patient on the court, too.

"He's way more mature," Benji said. "Mentally, he's more mature, and he's able to make decisions not just on the basketball court but in life. It's crazy because we're only talking 365 days."

The Kings have been looking for improved decision-making on the court for some time. Since 2009, they have drafted two point guards, Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas, traded for another rookie at the position, Jimmer Fredette, on draft day and signed or traded for several veteran point guards.

Burke is noted for making good decisions and his ability to break down defenses.

"I think my playmaking abilities, my ability to score, my ability to make my teammates better will definitely translate very well," Burke said. "I think what I have to work on is continuing to get better on the defensive end. I think I'm a good defender, but like I said, there's a process to everything."

Burke trusts his father in the draft process. Projections have Burke being chosen as high as second by Orlando and as low as seventh by the Kings.

Burke's final workout will be for New Orleans next week.

"I think from right there we're going to sit and just train for summer league," Benji said.

Coaching update – Kings coach Michael Malone helped with Burke's workout and could receive support soon. Chris Jent, an assistant at Ohio State who worked with Malone when both were with the Cleveland Cavaliers, will join the staff, a source confirmed Friday.

The source requested anonymity because he does not have permission to speak on behalf of the team.

Jent has helped the shooting of several notable players, including LeBron James and Mike Conley.

Front-office search – The Kings met with former Indiana general manager David Morway on Friday in their search to replace Geoff Petrie as president of basketball operations.

Sacramento has asked permission to speak with Denver assistant vice president of basketball operations Pete D'Alessandro, but the Nuggets had not granted it as of Friday evening.

Former Indiana basketball president Larry Bird, a Nais- mith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, remains high on the wish list of new principal owner Vivek Ranadive.

Petrie, whose contract expires at the end of the month, remains involved in scouting and evaluating players for the NBA draft on June 27.


The players who will work out for the Kings today in preparation for the NBA draft (June 27, 4 p.m., ESPN):


• Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse

• Solomon Hill, F, Arizona

• Elijah Johnson, G, Kansas

• C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh

• Peyton Siva, G, Louisville

• Tony Snell, F, New Mexico


• Tyler Brown, G, Illinois State

• James Ennis, F, Long Beach State

• Abdul Gaddy, F, Washington

• Mark Lyons, G, Arizona

• D.J. Stephens, G-F, Memphis

• Scott Wood, F, North Carolina State

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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