The Detroit Pistons already made one trade in what is expected to be a busy NBA trade deadline season for the downtrodden franchise. Alec Burks is one of the Pistons who could be the next player moving on from Motown. And he has undoubtedly helped his trade stock recently.
NBA Trade Rumors: Detroit Pistons Rumors: Alec Burks Rising Stock & Potential Landing Spots; Pistons Targeting LaVine & Mitchell
Burks tied his career-high 34 points to lead Detroit past the Washington Wizards 129-117 on Martin Luther King Day. Burks was 11 of 17 from the field, 8 of 12 from the 3-point line, and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line. He added two rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes.
AB is hoopin' in the first half
17 PTS | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6-11 FG | 6 3PM pic.twitter.com/naYDpWle10
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) January 15, 2024
While Detroit was able to pull away from the Wizards in the second half, Burks made it possible for the Pistons to pick up their fourth win of the campaign by keeping close in the first half. Burks pumped in 20 points in the opening half, with all six of his field goals coming from beyond the arc, including a 26-foot triple to give the Pistons a one-point halftime lead.
“I’m happy for AB, man. He’s a great vet. He can really score the ball,” forward Isaiah Stewart said, per Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press. “I love playing with him. Every time he steps out on the floor, he’s in range. He’s the type of guy that just hits all types of shots, and once he’s hot, he’s hot. Seeing him have a performance like that today, he deserved that and I’m happy for him.”
Burks is an electric scorer who has been running hot lately.
Burks is averaging 18.7 points and 3.6 treys while producing a shooting slash line of .485/.488/.895 over this 11-game stretch. He has scored in double-figures in each game, topping the 20-point plateau three times. The 32-year-old wing also has made at least one 3-pointer in 12 consecutive outings, including 10 multi-triple contests.
Burks was expected to garner a lot of trade interest due to his shooting prowess. Being hot down the stretch will likely not only benefit Burks in terms of who wants him but also garner Detroit better draft picks or better players in addition to the draft. Burks is on a relatively cheap expiring contract.
Which Team Is The Best Fit For Burks?
Burks has been linked to several teams already.
The Philadelphia 76ers were identified as suitors after jettisoning James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers. The New York Knicks could use a guard who can get buckets off the bench. The Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets.
The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has the 76ers as one of the best fits for Burks, who is No. 27 on his list of top trade candidates. Vecenie also lists the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans as strong fits for the veteran wing.
What Could Detroit Get In Return?
Detroit brought in two veterans — Danilo Galinari and Mike Muscala –on expiring contracts in their trade with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday to increase their projected cap space to $64 million. The Pistons may receive a late first-rounder for Burks or a few second-round selections. Unless he is part of bigger deal.
Here are The Athletic’s James L. Edwards’s thoughts on what the Pistons may desire to acquire at the trade deadline
“Head coach Monty Williams seems committed to playing a 10-man rotation, and if that’s the case, Detroit needs to go out and improve around the margins. The Pistons need one or two proven 3-and-D wings/forwards. The roster is lacking in that department.”
LaVine would be interesting for the Pistons, but they don’t have any way to trade for him. The Pistons don’t have much draft capital unless they package Bojan Bogdanovic with Burks or Stewart and possibly Jaden Ivey.
Mitchell has struggled this season in Sacramento, as his minutes have dropped by about six minutes a game. Mitchell doesn’t shoot it well and hasn’t been the defensive ace he was in college.
But a change of scenery may benefit Mitchell, and the Pistons could use another point guard. Mitchell has performed well in his 33 career starts, averaging 14.5 points and 6.1 assists.