Philadelphia 76ers: Buying low on Trey Burke is a slam dunk

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

After letting T.J. McConnell walk in free agency, the Philadelphia 76ers found immense value in late July with high upside point guard Trey Burke.

In case you haven’t heard, we are currently stuck in the middle of the ‘Worst Sports Week of the Year’, but apparently, no one told that to Elton Brand, because he’s been hard at work putting the finishing touches on the Philadelphia 76ers in time for the 2019-20 regular season.

And on Thursday, July 25th, Brand somehow found a way to make a move that could actually move the needle.

That’s right, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the 76ers have agreed to a one-year contract with ex-Dallas Mavericks/New York Knicks/Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke.

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For those keeping track at home, that’s two signings this week for Brand, as he also locked up Furkan Korkmaz to a brand new two-year, veteran minimum deal.

But who is Burke, and can he help the Sixers in 2019?

Measuring in at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds (with a striking resemblance to Allen Iverson), Burke is a six-year NBA veteran who has suited up for four different squads by the tender age of 26.

Though he initially petered out of the league after a failed tenure with the Washington Wizards in 2016-17, Burke returned to the league the hard way – lighting up the G-League to the tune of 26.6 in 37 minutes of action as a member of the Westchester Knicks.

From there, Burke latched on with the big boy Knicks and played the better part of two seasons with the club (averaging a career-best 12.3 points in 21.4 minutes of action a night) before being unfortunately included in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

Though he didn’t play all that much for the Mavericks, averaging 9.7 points in reserve of ex-Villanova Wildcat Jalen Brunson, Burke firmly established himself as an NBA player who doesn’t have to worry about playing in Europe, Asia, or the G-League moving forward.

And yet, through almost a month of free agency, Burke remained unsigned.

But still, just because Burke wasn’t immediately signed to a multi-year deal, that doesn’t mean he can’t help a team win in 2019 – far from it.

While Burke is only an average outside shooter (34 percent for his career), he’s a solid spark plug option off the bench and has proven much more durable than his chief competition for backup minutes, Raul Neto.

Furthermore, much like his physical compatriot AI, Burke is a certified combo guard who can not only get buckets for his teammates (3.6 assists a game) but also score an impressive clip coming off the bench.

In 361 professional games, Burke has scored 20 or more points 37 times, scored 30 or more points four times, and even put up a career-high 42 points in 41 minutes of action against the Charlotte Hornets.

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Will Burke be able to replicate this production on arguably the best team he’s been a part of thus far in his career? Only time will tell, but with a desperate need for auxiliary playmakers and players in general who measure in at 6-foot-5 or less, locking up a shifty point guard like Trey Burke on a one-year, partially guaranteed deal is a slam dunk.