Dallas Mavericks backup point guard Trey Burke is the latest NBA player to express his hesitancy towards receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, stating that he is still “studying” the effects of the shot. However, the Mavericks are apparently not planning on waiting for Burke to do his research, as Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated and Dallas Basketball FanNation reports that Dallas is seeking to trade Burke to avoid any complications and reach complete vaccination status within the team.
Fisher writes that the Mavericks are in the 90th percentile of vaccination rate within the league, and they hope to have every player on the roster vaccinated. This move to trade Burke is the first of potentially many actions that could be taken around the league as a result of the jab controversy. Anthony Slater of The Athletic floated the idea of the Golden State Warriors trading Andrew Wiggins if he continues to deny the jab, particularly given that San Francisco city mandates would disqualify Wiggins from playing home games for Golden State until he’s vaccinated. However, Slater reported yesterday that Wiggins felt “under the weather” and missed practice, so perhaps that’s an indication that he did in fact receive the shot at some point in recent days.
In the case of Burke, he was already playing behind Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson at point guard in Dallas, so the Mavericks won’t miss him too much if they can find a team willing to trade for him sans shot. They can also release him, but it would hurt them financially.
If more cities begin adopting the mandates that San Francisco and New York have, unvaccinated players in those markets will miss out on salary for any games missed. The NBA season is fast-approaching, with regular season games tipping off on Oct. 19. Burke still has time to get the jab before then, though it seems the Mavericks are steadfast in their decision to trade him based on Fisher’s reporting.