BROOKLYN — Ahead of the Utah Jazz’s tipoff against the Brooklyn Nets, Alec Burks broke the news to his teammates that he had just been traded.
After warming up twice on the Barclays Center floor in preparation for Wednesday’s contest, Burks learned he was heading to the Cleveland Cavaliers with two future second-round picks for Kyle Korver.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news publicly, but Jazz players already knew what went down.
A Deseret News source also confirmed the deal.
“I was shocked when he told me,” said Jazz rookie Grayson Allen. “I think everybody was a little bit surprised. It’s just the timing of it but that’s how it goes.”
Dante Exum was also taken aback by the move, especially ahead of a game.
“It’s a tough thing,” Exum said. “Obviously, being around, I know how that goes but it’s something you never want to see with guys going but I wish the best for him.”
Another Deseret News source confirmed that Burks is happy to be in a place with more consistent minutes for him. Burks is reportedly in good spirits and ready to turn the page for his career because the rotation wasn’t working in his favor with 15.8 minutes per game. He is currently headed to Cleveland, but the trade can’t be officially approved until the protocol is passed.
Burks, 27, is in the final year of his contract, making $11.5 million. He’s averaging 8.4 points and 1.6 rebounds on 37.2 percent shooting from 3 while Korver, 37, is shooting 46.3 percent from beyond the arc while averaging 6.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game this season.
Korver is making his second stop in Utah, having previously played for the Jazz from 2007-10. He has one year remaining on his contract after this year, according to Basketball-Reference. He will make $7.56 million this year and has $7.5 million on his deal for next year, although less than half of it is guaranteed.
“From what I know of his game, he’s great moving without the ball so there’s a lot I can watch of him and it’ll be cool to see that up close,” Allen said.
Utah has struggled to connect on outside shots, which largely contributed to the 9-12 start. Entering the Brooklyn game, Utah ranked No. 29 throughout the 30-team league in 3-point shooting percentage (31.9).
As sad as he is to see Burks go, after spending his eight seasons in Utah, Exum is also excited for what Korver can bring to the table.
“Definitely. He’s a great shooter and hopefully I can learn a few things and just being able to shoot,” said Exum, who’s shooting 38 percent from the field. “I think I’ve got the form and everything I just need to see what he does special but I’m looking forward to it.”
After the Jazz’s 101-91 win against Brooklyn, Utah players Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert all sent their well-wishes to Burks in his new journey via Twitter. Ingles labeled Burks as “one of the best teammates I’ve had” while Mitchell and Gobert also praised him. He was certainly well liked in the locker room.
“I was surprised by it. AB’s my guy,” Mitchell said. “He’s a really funny dude, he’s always keeping a positive vibe and I wish him the best in Cleveland.
“I know he wants to excel and do well,” he continued. “I know it’s tough to have that happen right before a game but it’s my first time experiencing it but I’m excited to work with Kyle. I’ve kind of always admired his shooting and his mechanics.”