NBA: Jazz ready to see what Burke, Gobert can do
By Bill Oram
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Jul 06 2013 05:23PM
Orlando, Fla. • When Trey Burke and Rudy Gobert make their Jazz debuts Sunday at the Orlando Pro Summer League, they will do so armed with new contracts.
The Jazz announced Saturday that Burke, the No. 9 pick in June’s draft, as well as Gobert, the 7-foot-1 French center who went No. 27, had agreed to deals with the Jazz. Per the NBA’s rookie scale their contracts are guaranteed for two seasons, with team options in Years 3 and 4.
The contracts knock a procedural step off the checklist in the development of the Jazz’s youth-focused rebuild. Burke and Gobert will be joined in Orlando by Alec Burks, Jeremy Evans and Jerel McNeal.
Gordon Hayward, who is training to participate in the Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas later this month, will be with the team part of the week, but is not playing. Derrick Favors, who will also participate with Team USA, is not expected to be present.
The Jazz will play the first of their five games at Amway Center on Sunday against the Miami Heat. It and all games can be seen on NBA TV.
Coach Tyrone Corbin said Burks and Evans would likely not play in every game, but the same would not be true of Burke.
The former Michigan star and last year’s consensus National Player of the Year is hoping to use this week to demonstrate that he can be the Jazz’s starting point guard when the regular season begins in October.
"He’s going to play as much as he can stand, " Corbin said. "This is really going to be about developing our young guys."
That development means different things for different players. Gobert, for example, had to be reminded during the team’s mini-camp this week in Orlando that he could not grab the ball off the rim, as was permitted overseas, Corbin said.
However, Corbin said Gobert demonstrated this week a strong passing ability, and that he can be effective in transition. The 21-year-old center, who had to be bought out of his pro contract in France to join the Jazz, needs to add strength to his 235-pound frame, Corbin said.
"The main thing is to get the guys we drafted and get guys like Alec and Jeremy work on the floor to get more comfortable with what we’re doing," Corbin said.
The Jazz have nearly finished a complete overhaul of their roster in the last week. Since free agency opened, Jazz players Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll have all signed elsewhere. Hayward, drafted in 2010, is now the franchise’s most tenured player.
With 12 players under contract (including McNeal, who is signed to a nonguaranteed deal) the Jazz could be looking for roster pieces in Orlando. The summer league is an opportunity, Corbin said, to identify players to bring into training camp in October.
"That’s always what summer league’s about," he said, "to find guys you can bring in … so these guys can compete for spots."