SALT LAKE CITY - Warriors guard Alec Burks has known stability for much of his NBA career.
That all changed a little more than a year ago, when -- after eight seasons with the Jazz -- he spent much of last season floating between three teams in six months. Even in free agency, a period where players exert the most control over their destination, he was technically an employee of two teams in the span of a week. However, standing on the floor where he's spent most of his NBA career, he expressed interest in being with his current team long term.
"Yeah, I like it here," Burks said following shootaround Friday morning. "Great culture, great players great coaching staff. I would love to."
Burks' current reality didn't seem plausible during the onset of his career. During his first five seasons, he averaged 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists. The performance led to a four-year, $42 million contract in 2014. Then, his base began to crumble, as a series of stress fractures limited the wing to just 100 games over a two-year period, putting the stability of his career in peril.
Last season, he was traded three times, finishing the season averaging just 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 13 games with the Sacramento Kings. In July, Burks agreed to a deal with the Thunder, believing he'd play with Paul George and Russell Westbrook. When both were traded, he was let out of his contract, ultimately signing a one-year deal with the Warriors for basic factors.
"I just knew it was championship-oriented because they were winning so much," he said. "I could see how Steve [Kerr] coached them from afar and the way they worked."
While he's shooting just 42 percent for the season, Burks has shown an ability to score in spurts. Last month against the Grizzlies, he scored 17 of his team-high 29 points in the first half, adding eight rebounds in 36 minutes, helping the Warriors to their second win of the season. With the Warriors in transition, Burks says he wants to be a part of its climb back to championship form.
"Now I'm a part of it, I just see how everything is laid back," he said. "They work hard and they go about their business and have fun doing it."
While Burks sees a future in the Bay, his comfort level in Salt Lake is apparent. Just before Golden State's last matchup with the Jazz more than two weeks ago, Burks spent an extra 15 minutes on the floor conversing with old teammates and arena staff following his pregame workout, an ode to the stability he once had.
"I built real relationships with everybody in the arena. Not just the players but people that worked for the team. People that work in the arena," he said. "They showed me love so I show them love back."
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Burks might have an opportunity to build that in the Bay Area for years to come, but as he knows all too well, that opportunity won't be promised.
"You never know in this league, he said. "You never know."