The Utah Jazz may have failed to come to terms on a contract extension for big man Enes Kanter, but they appear to have made sure that shooting guard Alec Burks won't escape their grasp:
Yahoo Sources: The Utah Jazz's Alec Burks has reached agreement on a four-year, $42 million extension. http://t.co/nxTWC7JnNf— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 31, 2014
With reachable incentives, Alec Burks' deal with the Jazz could climb to $45 million, sources told Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 31, 2014
After allowing Gordon Hayward to test the market last season and subsequently watching his price skyrocket with a max deal from the Charlotte
Bobcats Hornets, the Jazz apparently have decided they didn't want history to repeat itself with Burks. Scorers of his quality are not common, and he could possibly have fetched a higher price on the open market.
In addition, the Jazz have allowed past free agents Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to walk away for nothing but cap space in recent years, only to see them flourish elsewhere. These decisions made some sense at the time, but the Jazz do not need cap space at the moment, and its value relative to the rest of the league is lower than it once was. I think Dennis Lindsey made the wise choice here to lock up a known, talented quantity at a competitive price.
Burks' new deal puts him in the contract territory of other shooting guards like Tyreke Evans, DeMar DeRozan and Lance Stephenson. Those players have different skills and have all seen more minutes and higher usage rates than Burks, but his scoring numbers put Alec in that company.
While this is a validation of the faith the Jazz have in Burks, he has a lot of progress to make as an NBA starter getting NBA starter money. He has yet to live up to his defensive potential, his outside shot must continue to improve, and he needs to expand his game beyond pure scoring. But his elite ability to get to the free-throw line and score in traffic is a huge asset, one the Jazz have made sure will stay for the next four years.