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NBA Trade Rumors 2016: Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz to swap Ty Lawson and Trey Burke? Let's compare them!

Looking at the two point guards, and seeing which one is better this year

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I'm going to be real here, I cannot be objective about Trey Burke. I was stoked he was going to Michigan, and really followed his great play during the NCAA Tournament that led to him taking his team to the Championship game. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine the point guard needing Jazz would ever end up with him. But I was wrong. The Utah Jazz moved up to get Trey Burke, and handed him the keys to the team as a rookie. Since then it's been a bumpy ride where he's had to change his role as the team brought in two new rookie points after he was taken in the 2013 NBA Draft. Today (yesterday depending on if you are reading this in the Eastern time zone) it was revealed that the Houston Rockets are trying to dump their most recent mistake on the Jazz, Ty Lawson, and walk off with Trey.

And I'm going to be real here too -- just as I cannot be objective about him, it appears as though none of our fan base can. I get that a lot of people aren't happy with him overall, and that his play hasn't been that of a game changer on a consistent enough basis. However, when you compare him to all the other bench point guards in the NBA this season it's clear that he's one of the best. Of course, sports fans can't be rational at times. And most have already made their mind up about Burke.That said, when I attempt to be objective and look at the numbers, trading him for Ty Lawson is not a deal I would make.

Career Experience:

Ty Lawson was selected 18th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. He's currently in his 7th season in the NBA after spending three seasons at the University of North Carolina. Trey Burke was selected 9th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. He's currently in his 3rd season in the NBA after spending two seasons at the University of Michigan. The Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets both don't have the best point guard situation this year, but both of these players are what you could claim are vets. Less so for Trey, but Trey is also still on the way up for his career trajectory. Ty is either at his peak right now, or already on his way down -- which is a problem for players who make the league based on their physical speed and quickness. One common quality of both is that they have played minutes early and often in their careers.

     2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - Minutes

When you include the playoff experience it's clear that Ty has the advantage in experience. He has played more, and he has already reached his peak. His time with the Denver Nuggets saw him play a fast paced game for a running team, and he was involved in a lot of possessions. On the flip side, Trey has always played on slow teams. I don't know if this changes much, but Lawson has more miles on his legs. Duh. He's been in the league longer and is older, and played one more year in college.

With the more miles he's had more time to get injured as well.

2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - Health Game Percentages

Trey plays in 90% of the games the team plays, while Ty is at a pretty close 87% for his career; but it's only about 85% over the last three seasons. Is a 5% difference big enough? Over a 82 game schedule that amounts to 4.1 games. Trey is younger, healthier, and has more upside still.

Player Qualities:

These players are more than just the minutes they have played, or the games they are healthy enough to get in. If you look at their pre-draft measurements you can tell there are some differences there.

2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - Measurements

First of all, Trey is younger by over 5 years. He's also taller, has a longer wingspan, and a greater standing reach. What you don't see here are the athletic anthropometric scores like lane agility speed, or 3/4 court sprint, or any jumping stuff. Why? Well, I don't know how valid scores from 2009 would be for a guy who has played 7 years in the league and been injured a number of times. Similarly, Trey is at his lowest body fat percentage now and has been going to P3 for years and is a better athletic specimen than he was when he was measured in 2013. Ty's athletic advantage (and I agree he has one) will only continue to go down and down over the years. Trey didn't make the league because of his freak athleticism, and as a result, it's less important to his game going forward.

If he can learn to be a better defender he has the tools to be legit with his wingspan as a point guard. Ty is speedy, but he's not anything anyone would call a lock down defender either, just ask a Nuggets fan. Rockets fans may be completely sold on getting rid of Lawson mainly because of his contract.

2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - Salary

Yeah, the Jazz aren't paying Trey a lot right now, and in 2017-2018 they will be giving him a new contract (possibly). That same off-season they will have to pay Rudy Gobert and will be throwing a lot of money at him. Trey? He's probably not going to be earning eight digits, though with the crazy cap who knows? One thing we do know is that Lawson is on the books this year for over $12 million -- which is Derrick Favors money. The great thing about his contract is that he is not entirely guaranteed for next year. I don't know if it is partially guaranteed, but the Jazz may not want to honor it if they do not have to. But if they DO like Lawson, they'll be ponying up over $13 million for a bench point guard behind Dante Exum, but ahead of Raul Neto.

Both of these guys aren't great defenders. One scores in the half court, the other in the open court. One is fast and relies on his speed, despite being much older and more injury prone. The other is slower, but doesn't use his speed to be effective.

2015-2016 Season Stats:

This season both players have come off the bench for long stretches of the season. The Houston Rockets are obviously not happy with Ty, and want to move him. The Utah Jazz are listening to offers for Trey, and he may not be in the long term plans. So when we compare apples to apples, and just look at their per game averages off the bench you get some very interesting results.

2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - Per Game Averages

Yeah, Ty Lawson is averaging 5.11 ppg, 3.03 apg, 1.17 rpg, and 0.69 spg. He's shooting 41.0% from the field, and has an ORTG / DRTG of 102 and 105.

Trey Burke is averaging 11.82 ppg, 2.57 apg, 2.02 rpg, and 0.63 spg. He is shooting 42.3% from the field, and has an ORTG / DRTG of 104 and 110.

Neither is killing it, and what Trey is doing (doubling in scoring, for example) is in just 4.44 more minutes per game. Trey shoots worse from deep this year, but it's not by much, -2.1%, while shooting 2.76 more threes a game.

2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - USG AST TOV

Career-wise Lawson is the superior player, obviously. But Lawson isn't getting any younger, and he's not getting any better either. Trey doesn't turn the ball over, and he's a big part of the offense. Lawson had a different role with the Rockets this year, but even as a distributor, is only barely ahead. Trey is about +10% better at being an offensive player, and about -10% better at taking care of the ball.

But as a scorer, there are huge differences as well.

2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - Shot Locations

Yeah, which of these two guys seems to be the better bench punch in the arm? I know most of you hate Trey Burke, but you can't honestly be a Ty Lawson supporter if you are looking at the info.

Social Media:

Trey Burke has been a good soldier in Utah and taken the roles changes without any problems. He was on the airplane to Washington and I guess he wanted people to know about it.

2015 2016 Trey Burke Ty Lawson - Trey Burke instagram

On the other side of things, Ty Lawson hasn't appeared to be a big Utah fan.

Yeah, one of these guys doesn't look like he has "Jazz DNA". The other guy is yet another in a long line of "best player on the losing NCAA team" behind Gordon Hayward and Deron Williams.

The End?

Overall, I'm still not objective about Trey Burke. But in the objective view of him (today) against Ty Lawson (today) it's not that hard to see which of the two is having the superior season. I feel as though Lawson is only going to get worse over time, while Burke may never have a huge peak in the NBA, he's still not yet at his. Overall, Lawson is the better player and has the better career, and he could end up being cheaper in the long run. But I can't help but think that the Jazz can get something better than Ty Lawson and absolute trash for Trey Burke + Trevor Booker.

If these two are the principals in a trade then the Jazz are losing that trade. But, again, I'm not objective about this.