Jalen Brunson’s arrival might’ve erased Alec Burks from the minds of some New York Knicks fans, but we’re only a season removed from Tom Thibodeau putting Burks in a position to fail.
The Knicks traded Burks and Nerlens Noel to the Pistons in 2022 to make room for the Brunson signing. Burks dealt with a foot injury that limited him to only 51 games in his first season in Detroit, with averages of 12.8 points and 2.2. assists per game, shooting 43.6% from the field and 41.4% from three.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required), in the weeks before the 2023 trade deadline, Detroit was telling teams that it would be picking up Burks’ $10.5 million option for 2023-24 “because they like the presumed trade candidate so much.” That’s exactly what happened in June.
However, Burks’ name is back in trade rumors. The Rockets traded Kevin Porter Jr. to the Thunder on Tuesday, receiving Victor Oladipo and Jeremiah Earl-Robinson in return. Houston is expected to either trade Oladipo or buy out his contract. Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported that the Rockets have “held trade conversations” with the Pistons about Burks.
Former Knicks guard Alec Burks linked to Rockets in trade rumors
Detroit was the worst team in the league last season with a 17-65 record and isn’t expected to make it to the play-in tournament this season. Alec Burks is a valuable veteran presence for a young squad, but as Jake Fischer noted, trading him would allow the Pistons’ younger players to receive more minutes and develop.
Meanwhile, Houston’s roster looks a lot different than it did in April. Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks are new faces in the starting lineup, and several new players are on the bench unit, including former Knicks guard Reggie Bullock. Burks would not only be a good mentor for youngsters like Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore, but he’d also give the Rockets productive minutes.
Fischer reported that Houston also contacted Utah about Talen Horton-Tucker and Portland about Malcolm Brogdon. Maybe over the next few days, Alec Bucks will be the one to become a Rocket.