Former Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks is on the move again. Little more than two months since being traded from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers (for Kyle Korver), Burks has been traded to the Sacramento Kings in a three-team deal.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Cavs are sending Burks to Sacramento, the Kings are sending Iman Shumpert to Houston, and the Rockets are sending Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss and a protected first-round pick to Cleveland.
For Sacramento, they lose a quality 3-and-D wing in Shumpert, but Burks looks like an immediate upgrade and a better fit. Burks (38% from three) is as good as a shooter as Shumpert (36%) and he brings in more energy and playmaking to this young squad that likes to play fast. Burks isn’t as good as a defender, but with the Kings reportedly trading for Harrison Barnes as well, he will likely be a bench piece. (The projected starters: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Nemanja Bjelica and Willie Cauley-Stein.)
Playing as 6th or 7th man would be a good role for Burks as this teams pushes for the playoffs. His best strengths, playmaking and attacking in transition, are best utilized in as a ballhandler in a leading role. With him, the criminally underrated Bodgan Bogdanovic and the talented Marvin Bagley, the Kings could have a terrific bench for the stretch run and playoffs (if they make it).
After spending his first seven seasons in Utah, this must be a wild ride for Burks. But even though he’s an expiring contract and can be a free agent this summer, it seems the Kings are hoping to re-sign him. Assuming the Kings don’t Kangz themselves, Burks could long be a vital piece to an emerging basketball team.