Report: Burke, Hardaway headed to NBA; parents deny

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan 78, VCU 53 - 1Darren Heitner, a writer at Forbes and sports and entertainment attorney, tweeted that Michigan stars Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. are likely headed for the NBA after this season.

Tim Hardaway Jr. will leave MICH early & very strong chance he signs w/Henry Thomas of CAA.

Trey Burke will leave MICH early. Will interview 5 agents: Jeff Schwartz, Arn Tellem, Henry Thomas, Bill Duffy, Alonzo Shavers.

Alonzo Shavers (in running to rep Trey Burke) is said to be a newly certified NBPA agent. Has known Trey since birth 

Told that Trey Burke had considered LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul at 1 point, but not on list that has been narrowed down to 5.

Either players departure would not be a huge shock, ESPN insider Chad Ford has listed both players as prospects with “one foot out the door” for quite some time. Burke is projected as a top-15 pick while Hardaway is likely to be a late first rounder or second round draft pick.

UPDATE: Burke and Hardaway’s parents both denied the report. Heitner and Yahoo!’s Eric Adelson

Heitner: Received call from Tim Hardaway Jr.’s father. Says son has not yet decided on leaving early. Also denies intent to sign w/agent Henry Thomas

Adelson: Just spoke with Trey Burke’s mother, Ronda, who says “He has not made any decision” about going pro.¬†“Trey is focused on playing the games.”

Michigan head coach John Beilein refused comment on both player’s NBA decisions.

  • robpollard

    – Good for Burke. He’s had about as good a year as any Michigan player in literally 45 years, so win or lose this weekend, he’s ready.

    – THJ, well…I’m not so sure. He has had way too many off games this year (particularly shooting) to think he is ready for the pro’s. I can’t see him getting drafted in the first round, so I think it’s a bad idea on his part. Why not stay next year sans Burke? It would be “his” team and he’d really have a chance to shine/improve/move up the draft boards?

    • Northern Blue

      Timmy might just be what he is. A guy you don’t want to see get hot if you’re the opposition, but if he is not shooting well, probably won’t get a lot of playing time. I see him being a bench player in the NBA that will have his games where he goes off. As long as he keeps working on his defence, and is an average to above average defender in the NBA which I think he will be, he should have a spot in the NBA… obviously it would benefit him to go to a team with an uptempo style like Denver. He has done a great job this year improving the mental aspect of the game. He still has his off nights but he doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him anymore and he works hard in all facets of the game. He has had a great season, with some great moments. OSU sweeps us this year if Timmy doesn’t show up in AA. Great career, was a big part of 3 tourny teams and got to final four. Good for him. He will keep working and have a great career playing professionally somewhere.

    • Dr_ZC

      For one thing, there will be a logjam for the 2- guard spot if he stays. Granted, he will be a starter, but without Burke he seemed a bit lost is some games. I hope that this piece of “news” has a positive effect on Tim, who will try to do everything he can to show that he is ready for the NBA in the “last” 2 games of his college career.

      • Mattski

        I think he always plays hard. He’s just not always hitting. But–I was surprised to realize his shooting average this year is the highest it’s been. (Wojo notes that he’s a far better shooter than his father was.) It’s just hard for zealous fans to acknowledge that shots don’t always go in. I’ll certainly miss him, though. I think he’s a cool player, with a compelling story.

      • David DeMember

        Remember… this isn’t news to him. On that note though, maybe he would be relived because they most likely leaked it. It’s not like Timmy Sr. can’t pave the road any time he wants.

    • David DeMember

      Glen Rice was pretty amazing. C-Webb (his TO legacy aside) was a beast too.

      • David DeMember

        (from wiki)

        Rice continues to rank among Michigan’s all-time leaders in several statistical categories, including:

        1st in career points (2,442)
        1st in single season points (949 in the 1988-89 season)
        1st in single season field goals made (363 in the 1988-89 season)
        1st in single season field goal attempts (629 in the 1988-89 season)
        1st in single season three point field goal percent (51.6% in the 1988-89 season)
        2nd in career field goals made (1,002)
        2nd in career field goal attempts (2,078)
        2nd in single season three-point field goals made (99 in the 1988-89 season)

  • Don

    I’m all in support of these guys doing what is best for them, but man…I hate stuff like this coming out before the games are done. I hope it doesn’t become a distraction for anyone.

  • gobluemd16

    I presumed both were leaving, but why allow for this to be put out now (talking to writers, agents)? Such a huge distraction moving forward, really don’t like this timing.

    • To be fair… the NCAA early entry deadline is 12 days away… If they play through Monday that leaves them with just over a week to figure everything out.

      • gobluemd16

        I am not saying this is a bad decision, in fact I think it is the correct choice for both. Trey is obviously ready and is the Player of the Year, and Tim probably wouldnt get much higher rated and he isn’t getting any younger. As you both mentioned, since the deadline is 12 days away, I think it is fair to start the process and figure everything out. However, did they need to make this somewhat public? No. They could have done this behind the scenes and not let this be a potential distraction during the final 4 for the rest of the team.

        • carl showalter

          get a grip. the only one who is distracted is you.

        • Dr_ZC

          Well, I do not think Tray or Tim wanted any of this published (true or false). It seems that the blame relies on Heitner, a writer and an attorney, who is moonlighting as a vulture. Amazing to see their motivation to spread news or gossip.

    • MGoTweeter

      As Dylan pointed out, I think this is unfair. If they wanted to declare, they had to have their people start working on the process. You don’t want to be rushed into making huge life decisions in such little time after the season.

      Maybe this is also a blessing rather than a distraction. It could just easily motivate the entire team to play their hearts out knowing this is the last run with this group of players.

  • Quick Darshan

    Probably the right decision for both players. Burke’s ready. And Hardaway’s at the point where any improvement in his skill set won’t be enough to offset his being a year older (and having less upside in a NBA GM’s minds).

  • MGoTweeter

    If true, congrats to them. Hopefully they both have long and successful careers at the next level.

  • A2JD

    It doesn’t really surprise me. Trey will go top-10 and Tim should be taken in the first round. What does somewhat surprise me is that Rob Pelinka doesn’t have an inside track on representing Michigan players.

    • rlcBlue

      I’m more surprised that Mark Bartelstein can’t seem to get his foot in the door with the current team.

  • Indiana_Matt

    I think we all knew Trey would leave no matter what. And I must admit I was surprised by Hardaway when the talk started a few weeks ago. While he improved several facets of his game, I thought he’d be a 4 year guy. Doesn’t seem like his stock would be any worse next year, since he’s a late 2nd round projection anyway. Maybe he’s just tired of college. Man, I am going to miss them both.

  • Good luck to both of them should these reports be accurate. We’ve been lucky to watch these two help bring our program back to national relevance. Hopefully GRIII sticks around. A Walton, Stauskas, Irvin, GRIII and McGary starting lineup looks pretty healthy to me.

  • Quick Darshan

    Extra motivation to win it all this year…

  • mikey_mac

    Just smart planning by both in case they do ultimately decide to enter the NBA draft.

  • Neel

    Not engaging in any conspiracy theories, but the author of the piece did get his undergrad and law degrees from Florida. Sour grapes maybe?

  • Mark Worthley

    They will be highly motivated to win this weekend. Two great performances will work wonders for their draft position.

    • David DeMember

      Does it really matter? You don’t think every player, who’s with those guys 24/7 doesn’t know this stuff? That’s all that matters. We can have faith in JB though, he’s a quality coach through and through… Now, about that Rutgers program coming in to the B1G.

  • Steve2081

    Burkes denial makes it harder to believe Hardaway’s.

    • Cary Bear

      In what way do you mean this? That Hardaway is more or less likely to go pro?

      • Steve2081

        More likely. We all know Burke is gone. So we all know the denial is false. He’s just doing what any player still playing would do. But at the same time Hardaway’s probably doing the same thing. Mitch maybe too.

        I just don’t put much stock in denials like this or commitments to come back while a team is still alive.

        Still hope Tim surprises me though.

  • Nevin

    In respects to Hardaway Jr. I think it is a smart decision because next year he would have to rely on either Walton or Spike to get his touches, open shots and so forth. He benefits a lot playing with a great PG like Burke.

    • Steve2081

      Walton will be more than capable of getting him the ball and will see to do so on far more regular basis than Burke does now,. Walton will only help Tim’s numbers.

      • Mattski

        Maybe, but hardly a given.

        • Steve2081

          Well that would on Tim. Derrick will do his part. Bet on it.

  • Northern Blue

    I agree it would’ve been nice if this didn’t come out until after the Final Four, but I am sure it wasn’t Trey or Tim’s intention of doing so and they do not have a lot of time before the deadline. All of these guys want to win a championship and they will play their hardest to do so… Nothing else really matters.

    It is cool to see these guys doing so well and moving on to professional careers so much more frequently than UM fans are used to seeing. If enough of these guys are in the NBA getting play time I might be able to watch the damn charade that is the NBA. I hope we kind of build a culture of atleast staying 2 years, where guys like McGary, GR3, and Irvin are dominant in their sophomore years like Burke was… I am definitely jumping the gun on Irvin, but I expect him to be very good.

  • snoopblue

    I’d be okay with this reporting if Jim Boeheim was seen inquiring about his Syracuse University retirement account and Rick Pitino was seen going into a public bathroom with an unknown woman. =)

    • davis104

      Apparently, you should start a twitter account and tweet that out as news and say “trusted sources” told you. Done! Ugh, can’t we wait until after the season for this?

  • Dr_ZC

    I love Heitner’s Twitter update. Why on earth did he have to add “Also denies intent to sign w/agent Henry Thomas”? There is a statement that he has not decided on leaving early which basically says end of story. It would be news if Tim Sr. denied that Tim had not decided, but he intends to sign with Thomas, just for kicks!!!!! I just hope that Heitner has not graduated from the UM Law school.

  • Mattski

    Plenty of wiggle room there for the kids and their families, understandably both doing their early due diligence and wanting to make clear the the U and the games still come first. The news here–for me–is that Timmy may be gone, too. Regrettable for us, but the way it goes.

    • Dr_ZC

      A college player can play for a team for 4 years Max. Ten years ago we had these 4-year players, but the program was nowhere on the national radar.

      I’d take 2-year-and-done players over 4-year-players any time the way Kentucky does it. You get a continuous influx of talent and high quality recruits. If, however, the program is at the rebuilding stage, you need these 4 year players to put the program back to prominence, like Stu and Zack did it.

      Now you have to give Beilein props for recognizing talent at its infancy. None of the kids he recruited were McD All Americans.

  • AADave

    This is not news. Burke is projected as a lottery pick and would be smart to go pro. Heck, he almost went pro last year. As for Tim, he’s been phenomenal at times but also erratic. I still think he has a lot of potential to be a good or great NBA player but needs to continue working on some of the kinks in his game. He has made great strides and shows an ability to improve so I’m optimistic. He has many of the key elements to be an elite pro – great size for a shooting guard, quickness/athleticism, great shooting mechanics, an improving handle, smart passing and flashes of defensive brilliance. If he doesn’t smooth out the rough edges, he may end up being a bench player in the NBA. But he could end up surprising some of the naysayers. He almost certainly should go pro since he probably won’t elevate his draft status much by staying another year and next year’s draft is projected to be a strong one.

    I think the bigger question marks are GR III and McGary. I think both could improve their draft position by staying but may jump early if they get favorable draft projections.

  • Chabvis

    I have to say that I am disappointed that this is making big news on all of the Michigan blogs. I think it is 100% that Burke is leaving for the NBA (and I would’ve said 100% leaving at the beginning of the season too barring some major injury) and probably 95% sure that THJ is leaving.

    Who cares what some random writer at Forbes says? He is just some random writer that none of us have heard of before looking to make headlines with something that is seemingly very obvious. I am 90% sure that he has no “inside” information or sources. He is just looking to make a headline and get some page views.

    Both UMHoops and Mgoblog have latched onto this story as if this guy has any kind of credibility. I am not denying that they are going pro at the end of the year, I have been almost positive of that happening all year, but what is the point in giving this guy what he wants? It just encourages him to write these kind of articles that have no real information behind them in the future.

    I love UMHoops, but to me this is just a nonsense article written by some random writer with no real information and should be treated that way.

    • Mattski

      I respectfully disagree. The article names agents both players are said to be considering, thereby lending credence to the assertions. It’s nothing to get exercised about, but it’s certainly newsworthy.

      Now, the way mgoblog is blowing it up looks whorish, I’ll admit. :) But I think Dylan’s getting it about right.

      • Chabvis

        I can see how adding the agents names in there gives the aura of more credibility, but I don’t really buy it (not degrading anybody who does, just my opinion). To me naming the agents adds nothing to the credibility of the article (or tweets or whatever it was). It is a no lose situation for the writer to add some random names of agents. If it ends up being one of them, then he looks like he provided the first take. If it doesn’t end up being one of them, then the player just changed his mind.

        I don’t think it is a huge deal one way or the other, but there are literally hundreds of random “articles” written by “writers” everyday about stuff like this and the majority of them are just nonsense. I personally would just ignore them. My only qualm in this case is that the two biggest Michigan sports blogs that I know of are both giving this guy the attention that he was clearly seeking, when I think it is almost assuredly undeserved.

        • David DeMember

          They’re as good as gone. Quick Darshan’s right, now is the time to strike for Tim and his dad knows it as well as anyone… he’s a scout! (and we know trey is gone)

  • Matzio

    Obvious news is obvious.

  • gobluemd16

    Whether or not this report ends of being true, I would be very surprised if either Trey or Tim returns. We are losing 5 other seniors, and potentially GRIII could turn pro as well. That would leave us with 7 or 8 total players on the roster, and we only have 3 freshman joining in the fall. Would there even be a scout team? Is that a roster big enough to endure the rigors of a long season? We are going to add a new Eso, Josh, and Corey to the team, in my opinion

  • ForeverBlue

    I was pretty disappointed when Morris left and even more so when it looked like Trey was leaving last season. But now what can you say but thank you and best of luck to Trey or Tim if they decide to leave? I love them both, they will forever be associated with a time in the program’s history that won’t be forgotten.

    I do think it’s utter classlessness for this writer to put it out there. Neither Tim or Trey came to Michigan as potential early departures. They both have been as committed to Michigan and their team as much as anyone could have hoped for. Nothing but their play (as opposed to some hyper-inflated views of themselves or their games) invited this speculation and they don’t deserve this distraction.

    • David DeMember

      Seriously, news you here in the press is generally placed by the sources. You think Tim Sr., who’s a scout himself, needs to worry about “finding an agent.” I think they want scouts to take them as seriously as possible. They’re going all in! Go Blue!

  • David DeMember

    Glenn!?! What about Glenn?!?! Honestly, It seems like the new crop can replace them and I hope they get drafted high. It’ll help attract more blue chips in the future. Hats off to JB, him and Hoke took us out of the dark years and back to where we belong… the leaders of the (mid)west!!

  • Kenny

    The family does not want to have this as a distraction. Burke is leaving. Timmy, to be honest, probably will not improve his draft stock with another year and will end up playing overseas any way. Playing overseas is not bad, and he can make close to 1 million a year in top leagues, much better than the development league and doubles NBA’s minimum salary. I guess his choice is between enjoying college for one more year or have an extra year of professional career. If I were him, I would go for the latter.