Newest Sixer Trey Burke may not be a household name but there are reasons to be excited about is arrival. Burke is a traditionally streaky player who can seamlessly walk that line between spot starter and spark off the bench. Acting as a backup ball-handler and a shot-making combo guard, Burke can hopefully fill a role that seems to have been missing since the days of Sweet Lou Williams.
Standing at 6’1”, Burke lacks the traditionally desired height at his position. Burke is a strong 190 pounds, which helps him bully his way to buckets. While Raul Neto is a very efficient shooter, he does not possess nearly the same scoring presence. Burke’s athleticism also separates him from Neto the backup point guard battle.
Alfonso Clark (Trey) Burke III was born on November 12th, 1992 to Alfonso “Benji” Burke II and Ronda Burke. Coming from a basketball family, Burke had an opportunity from a young age to be taught a love for the game. His father Benji, strongly “encouraged” his son to use his left hand for most everyday activities. This helped the right-handed Burke attempt to build ambidexterity. A Columbus Ohio native, Burke played his high school ball under coach Satch Sullinger, father of former NBA player Jared Sullinger. Burke’s high school career led him to the University of Michigan where he essentially was brought in to replace former starting point guard Darius Morris.
Burke had a successful career with Michigan most noteworthy, an appearance in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Game. Burke played two seasons for Michigan and came out as a highly regarded prospect in the 2013 NBA draft. Because of his performance in the NCAA Championship game against Louisville, Burk saw a rise in his pre-draft popularity. Burke scored 24 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists in just 26 minutes of play because of foul trouble.
Budding NBA Career
On June 27th, 2013, Trey Burke was drafted ninth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was subsequently traded to the Utah Jazz for the 14th and 21st picks in the draft; used to draft Shabazz Muhamad and Gorgui Dieng respectively. Burke played 210 games as a member of the Utah Jazz before being traded to the Washington Wizards for a 2021 second-round pick.
After finishing the season with the Wizards, Burke signed and was cut by the New York Knicks. Burke then joined their G League affiliate the Westchester Knicks. He pushed through this challenging time focusing on his game, averaging 26.6 points per game. After putting on a show in the G League, he was then signed by the New York Knicks on January 14th, 2018 where he remained for just over a year. On January 31st Burke was traded along with throw in Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round draft picks. Burke played out the rest of the season with the Mavericks. He had multiple 20+ point games including a 25 point outing against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Fit With Sixers
Burke is a hardworking, longsuffering, shotmaker and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Fishtown. This and his undersized mentality that we’ve loved from Allen Iverson and Desean Jackson. Watch for him to be a fan favorite from our lovable bench. A realistic expectation for Burke’s season is to play like a diet Fred VanVleet. We saw how important combo guards off the bench are so important as highlighted by VanVleet, Lou Williams, Austin Rivers, and Quinn Cook. To have a player who can spark your offense of the bench is a key component of most contenders. Burke will hopefully play a key role in a very special season for our Sixers.
Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports