The Knicks’ offense is floundering and there’s a desire from some in the organization to call up their G-League star Trey Burke, a source told the Daily News. However, there’s also a big obstacle to such a move — the team would need to create a roster spot.
Burke, a 25-year-old point guard, signed with the Knicks in October but was immediately released and sent down to the G-League team in Westchester, where he’s averaging 27.3 points and shooting nearly 50 percent.
For the Knicks, the chance of losing Burke increases if he’s not called up before the G League Showcase, which starts Jan. 10 in Toronto. It is the league’s premier scouting event. Burke, a former lottery pick and teammate of Tim Hardaway Jr. at Michigan, can be scooped up by any NBA team.
New York’s current starting point guard, Jarrett Jack, is the only Knick on a non-guaranteed deal. His contract will become guaranteed if he’s not cut by Jan. 7 because it takes a full 48 hours to clear waivers (the guarantee date is technically Jan. 10).
Among the other 14 players on the roster, point guard Ramon Sessions would be the most likely waiver-wire candidate given his small contract and lack of playing time.
However, the Knicks would prefer to make a trade to free up a roster spot. They already waived a player on a guaranteed deal (Mindaugas Kuzminskas) to make room for the return of Joakim Noah following a PED suspension.
The Knicks have reportedly shopped backup center Kyle O’Quinn.
The Knicks (17-19) have lost six of their last seven games while averaging (ineffectively) 98.5 points per game. Jack and backup point guard Frank Ntilikina have struggled to break down defenses with dribble penetration, hampering the offense.
Burke was drafted ninth overall in 2013 but didn’t progress in his three seasons with Utah and was traded. He spent last season with the Wizards and couldn’t get a guaranteed contract over the summer.
“I still believe that I am one of the best scorers in the world, and that has to be my mentality,” Burke recently told NBA.com. “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I believe that given the opportunity I could help a team win at the NBA level.”
FIRST BALLOT: Both Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter were in the top 10 of the fan vote for the NBA All-Star Game after the first 12 days. Porzingis received 359,459 votes and was in fourth in the frontcourt behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Joel Embiid. Kanter was ninth with 83,102 votes. A media panel still has to vote, and then the top two guards and top three frontcourt players will be named starters in each conference.