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Trey Burke doesn't want to worry about his future. He doesn't want to worry about whether he will be a point guard for the Utah Jazz next season, or whether he will be somewhere else in the NBA.
He says doing so is counterproductive. He knows that the Jazz have four point guards under contract for next year, which probably doesn't leave room for him. He has come to grips with being out of Quin Snyder's rotation for the last two months, as frustrating as that has been.
So Burke said the only thing he is worrying about is what he can control. And that is improving as a basketball player, maintaining his professionalism, and making sure he's as good a person on and off the court as he can be.
"I just think not playing me was a decision that coach made," Burke said during locker room cleanout on Thursday. "One thing about coach Snyder is he's always been straight up with me. He always told me why, even if I didn't really understand it. I just had to stay professional and mature. I know everything is temporary and that my time will eventually come again. I just have to handle the things that I can control."
Burke said he improved as a shooter this season, and that he improved his overall strength. He said he doesn't know what the future holds with the Jazz, just that he's under contract for next season.
Neither Burke, nor the organization would commit to his staying with the Jazz. But for the former lottery pick, another offseason of improvement is a must. Burke seems to know his career may be on the line next season. So working on his weaknesses as a player is his focus.
"We're going to visit with Trey individually," Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey said. "There's no question he improved over the course of the season, and we're happy about that."
Under the Hood
Nobody on the Jazz roster can get hotter than Rodney Hood. The second-year shooting guard, on his best nights, can blister the net. But when Hood's shot faltered this season, he couldn't boost his scoring enough by getting to the foul line. That will be a point of emphasis going forward for the guard, who averaged just 2.5 free throws a game.
"That's a big thing," he said. "The big thing is I'm a two-foot jumper and I always try to be under control when I get into the lane. Most guys that get fouled, they take off on one foot the James Hardens, the Kevin Durants. It's just about learning different footwork … so I can be a more efficient scorer when I'm not hitting shots."
Hood said he planned to be "real conscious" of seeking out Jazz teammates to work out with this summer. The guard said he planned to visit Gordon Hayward in Indianapolis and Alec Burks in Kansas City.
"Just working with guys so we can get more and more comfortable with each other throughout the summer," he said.
After tearing his ACL last summer, point guard Dante Exum said he has been cleared to do everything on a basketball court except participate in contact practices. He anticipates, will begin for him in June, which as it happens, is just a month before the Australian national team will begin its preparations for the summer Olympics in Brazil.
Will Exum's return to the court for his country before he makes his return to NBA action?
"We haven't made a decision on that yet," he said. "But I won't do it unless I'm 100 percent confident in myself."
Bringing Booker back
Forward Trevor Booker will be a free agent this summer and the play of rookie Trey Lyles might make it difficult to warrant bringing the veteran Booker back at his market rate. On Thursday, Booker said he would like to stay in Utah but did not know what his future held.
"I would definitely love to stay," he said. "But I know it's a business. I'm not sure what's going to happen. I know other teams are interested, but I would definitely love to stay. You never know."