Utah’s Trey Burke has more insight than most players into two Kings offseason additions.
The second-year guard played with rookie Nik Stauskas at Michigan when the Wolverines reached the NCAA championship game in 2013. Burke’s coach last season with the Jazz was Ty Corbin, now the Kings’ lead assistant coach who is coaching their summer league team.
Stauskas hasn’t sought out Burke for information on Corbin, but if he does, Burke said he’ll have nothing negative to say.
“Coach Corbin, he’s a teacher,” Burke said. “He’s a guy that’s really going to take his time to teach you what he feels you need to learn. You always want a guy like that and a guy that’s played in the NBA, a player’s coach, and players love that more than anything. If he asks me how I feel about him, I’ll just tell him good things.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Stauskas’ scoring and assists increased last season without Burke, who said Stauskas also took on more responsibility in directing the Wolverines.
“Obviously with me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) leaving and the seniors leaving, they needed a leader last year, and I felt like he was that guy to step up,” Burke said. “He made plays for them down the stretch when they needed a big play.”
Burke believes Stauskas’ shooting and ability to make plays off the dribble will translate well in the NBA, but as with most rookies, defense will be the biggest adjustment.
“In this league, you’ve got to be able to guard, and I think he can guard, play defense,” Burke said. “But there’s a lot of guys at his position who are really skilled, can shoot the ball and kind of do the same things he can do. And I feel like he just needs to find his niche in the league.”
Star watchers – Doug McDermott was one of college basketball’s biggest stars last season, and he averaged 18.0 points in his first four summer league games with Chicago.
The Bulls, however, sat McDermott for Saturday’s 80-61 loss to the Kings at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Without McDermott, second-year guard Tony Snell was the only Bull on the court who figures to play a key role for Chicago this season.
Cleveland’s Andrew Wiggins, the first overall pick in last month’s draft, also attended the game. He sat out the Cavaliers’ final summer league game. Wiggins’ brother Nick is on the Kings’ summer league team.