According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, free-agent guard Trey Burke has agreed to a one-year partially guaranteed deal with the Sixers this evening. As the Sixers put the finishing touches on their final roster, this signing appears to be a particularly good value. Over the last couple of seasons, Burke appeared in 69 games for the New York Knicks. The former Michigan Wolverine, and 9th overall pick in the 2013 NBA lottery was traded last season in the Kristaps Porzingis deal between the Knicks and the Mavericks. He wound up appearing in 25 games for the Mavs.
Burke averaged over 20 points per 36 minutes in both of the last two seasons. He’s immediately one of the team’s best ball-handlers, and because of his ability to get buckets, he could even find himself ahead of younger players like Jonah Bolden, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz or more once the regular season grind begins to take its toll and Head Coach Brett Brown looks for production off the bench.
Since the Sixers are in many ways experimenting this upcoming season (without a traditional point guard in the starting unit and a very very big twin-towers look featuring Joel Embiid and Al Horford in the front-court) adding a player who is clearly a guard has merit.
This is fun. Per Steve Serby of the New York Post, Burke openly idolized Sixers legend Allen Iverson, and has often gotten compared to A.I. throughout his career at Michigan and in the NBA:
Q: Why was Allen Iverson your boyhood idol?
A: Just the tenacity he played with every single night being his size [6-foot], the way he dominated the game. It was just that it factor that he had. When you saw him, you saw greatness … growing up in the inner city, that was a guy that you looked at as a role model and a figure to follow behind when it came to the game of basketball.
Q: Have you met him?
A: A lot of times you don’t [get] starstruck, but that was one time when I was like starstruck … being around a guy you watched dominate the league that you always wanted to play in, like I said, at his size.
After witnessing just how effective Fred VanVleet was off the bench at both getting up into Steph Curry during the NBA Finals and creating plays in the flow of the offense for the Toronto Raptors, it makes sense why the Sixers would look at a player with Burke’s ability to dribble, shoot, and hit tough shots:
It is honestly scary how much Trey Burke looks like Allen Iverson on this playpic.twitter.com/qcFvfCesJv— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 27, 2018
This is a great value signing for Philadelphia and as of this writing, they have almost as good of a chance as any team in the league to make the finals in 2020. Oh and in case you’re bored, here is your boy Alfonso Clarke “Trey” Burke III utterly destroying the Celtics recently: