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Player options: It's a make-or-break season for Burks, Kanter and Fredette

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 1:10 p.m. MDT

Utah's Enes Kanter walks out on the floor after a timeout as the Jazz and the Pistons play Monday, March 11, 2013 at EnergySolutions Arena. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah's Enes Kanter walks out on the floor after a timeout as the Jazz and the Pistons play Monday, March 11, 2013 at EnergySolutions Arena. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

NBA teams have big decisions to make when it comes to their young guys. Because of the collective bargaining agreement and luxury tax implications, teams must weigh the choices before deciding on player options and if players are worth long-term contracts or not.

The Utah Jazz have made their decisions, as they will exercise the options on both Alec Burks and Enes Kanter. Does Kanter deserve it?

According to Grantland writer Zach Lowe, “Kanter hasn't done quite enough to justify a monster $5.7 million fourth-year option, but that's due to playing time issues; Kanter didn't play in college, and he's been No. 4 in Utah's big-man pecking order. He barely cracked 1,000 minutes last season, much fewer than we'd expect from a No. 3 selection working as a full-time rotation player on a .500 team.”

Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette drives past Houston Rockets guard Thomas Robinson (41) and guard Patrick Beverly (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Houston. (Patric Schneider, AP) Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette drives past Houston Rockets guard Thomas Robinson (41) and guard Patrick Beverly (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Houston. (Patric Schneider, AP)

Burks is an interesting combo player who can play both the point guard position as well as shooting guard. With a little more experience, Burks could prove to be a steal when he was picked 12th by the Jazz in the 2011 NBA draft.

“Burks has the toolbox of a nice rotation cog," Lowe said of Burks. "He's got the size and wingspan of a shooting guard and enough ball-handling chops to work as a secondary pick-and-roll guy. He also shot 35.9 percent from deep last season — exactly league-average, encouraging for a second-year guy who enjoys adventurous shots.”

Some players are not as fortunate, as is the case with Jimmer Fredette. It looks like Sacramento will not exercise its option with Fredette. Why?

Fredette would earn approximately $3.1 million under the terms of his option, a lot of money for someone who hardly plays.

Utah's Alex Burks keeps the ball away from Kendall Marshall as the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns play Wednesday, March 27, 2013 in EnergySolutions Arena. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah's Alex Burks keeps the ball away from Kendall Marshall as the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns play Wednesday, March 27, 2013 in EnergySolutions Arena. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Though Fredette is dangerous behind the arc, his biggest issue is his defense. Nevertheless, as Lowe explains, NBA teams need shooters.

“But the man can shoot, and teams need shooting more than ever against defenses that overload the strong side and focus on taking away a team's best options,” Lowe said of the former BYU point guard.

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