Trey Burke is in an interesting situation with the New York Knicks, but he’s focusing on what he can control.
The New York Knicks have made it abundantly clear that this season is all about player development. They aren’t “tanking” as it is classically defined, but they are prioritizing their young players over all else — as they should. This puts veterans like Trey Burke in a precarious position.
Burke knows that his future is uncertain and he can be traded at any moment — possibly to a playoff team if he’s lucky. If the Knicks find a team willing to part with any type of asset for Burke, they’ll likely take the deal. That being said, Burke is focusing on what he can control for the time being.
“You always want to go to the playoffs,’’ Burke told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “It’s something I look at as fool’s gold. It’s an illusion. You can always put yourself in a playoff-team situation. What would it be like if I was with the Lakers? Or with Golden State? You can always do that as a player. It’s not reality until it happens. I try to stay away from it. I know the trade deadline is coming up. It’s a big year for me. If I look at those situations, I lose focus on what’s ahead of me.
“I don’t’ think about it. Some players, they do. You think about the trade deadline, other teams, other opportunities, I lose focus on what’s in front of me with this organization. Everyone knows I want to be a Knick. But I know how the business works.”
The Knicks took a flier on Burke in the G League last season and he put together a resurgent second half to the season. That success hasn’t transferred to this season. Burke’s shooting percentages have gone down significantly as he’s failing to recapture the fleeting mid-range success that highlighted the 2017-18 season.
The diminutive point guard will continue to see minutes as Emmanuel Mudiay’s backup until Frank Ntilikina is healthy. For now, all Burke can do is focus on the here and now.