Considering that likely more than half of the players on the Washington Wizards will be different from last season, the idea of a fresh start is a theme echoed throughout the 15-man roster. Arguably no single player epitomizes that scenario more than Trey Burke.
"Oh, man, definitely," the point guard said about the excitement of starting anew after some trying times during his three seasons with the Jazz.
Burke, the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, started 111 games during his first two campaigns, but exclusively came off the bench during the 2015-16 season before eventually falling out of the rotation.
In search of a backup for John Wall, Washington traded a future second round pick to the Jazz this summer for the 6-foot-1 guard, who averaged 12.1 points and 4.2 assists during his first three seasons.
"I feel like Utah was like a real learning experience for me. A real test for me," Burke said. "This summer I just had to really put the work in and mentally be prepared for my next move. Didn't know where it was going to be. ...Now that I'm here in D.C., have the opportunity to learn under John Wall, an All-Star point guard, and play with and alongside with him and Brad [Beal] and some great bigs, a new coaching staff. I'm excited about what's to come."
Burke ticked off several factors that, in his opinion, contributed to the dip in minutes and production over time.
"Getting injured in my rookie season, during preseason, breaking my finger and missing two months. Then having to come into a starting role and having to learn right (away). The coaching staff gets fired after my rookie season ...It's a lot of factors behind the business that people really don't see."
That includes geography.
"I feel like this is more of my fit," the 23-year-old said of Washington. "I'm more urban, more city type. I'm from Columbus, Ohio. Utah is more country type."
On the court, the Wizards need Burke to be the type of point guard who can run what will be a completely revamped second unit, but also find his scoring spots when desired.
Washington needs plenty from wings Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tomas Satoransky this season. That duo has a combined one year of NBA experience. Center Ian Mahinmi is a defensive presence, but not a go-to scorer. Forward Andrew Nicholson offers some inside-out game, but wasn't always consistent in his previous stop. Even when including Jason Smith and Marcus Thornton, only Oubre was with Washington at the start of last season.
"You would think it would be tough," Burke said of so many new players gelling together, "but we can make it work. This is a great group of guys. ...We'll see how it goes."
Of course, Burke could end up starting the season with the starters depending on whether Wall is good to go for the Oct. 27 season opener after undergoing two knee surgeries during the offseason.
"I thought about it a little bit. Obviously, you have to think about it. John, how significant he is to this team. If he were to miss some time, I definitely would be able to step up and fill those shoes," the confident Burke said.
Wall's physical status is the biggest question mark entering the season, though the three-time All-Star has shown good progress during training camp. Also high on the uncertainty list? Which Burke do the Wizards get. His defense is hardly elite. Running an offense is crucial for a point guard and Burke, who will battle Satoransky for minutes behind Wall, struggled doing just that at times in Utah. Yet he can score and is still very young. Perhaps the business of the NBA combined with a new spot will spark a strong second act.
"I really feel like this is a fresh start for me,' Burke said. "I feel like this is a good spot for me."