One of the New York Knicks most impactful players this past year was shooting guard Alec Burks, who was an instant offensive producer off the bench for Tom Thibodeauâ€™s squad. Burks signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Knicks last season, and at 29 years old, proved he can be an adequate player that produces on a daily basis.
The former first round pick back in 2011 averaged 12.7 points, 2.2 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game this past year. Playing 25.6 minutes per night, he also connected on .420 from the field and had nearly a 42% success rate from downtown. Overall, he was a sufficient scorer, offering clutch moments when the team needed him most in the 4th quarter (he had numerous double digit 4th Q performances).
While the Knicksâ€™ offense struggled at times last year, Burks had the ability to score at three levels, handling the ball, operating off the pick and roll, and creating shots for others. Keeping him around for another season should be a no-brainer, as he also offers high effort defense and experience among a team filled with youth.
The only reason the Knicks wouldn’t consider bringing Burks back:
Unless the veteran is asking for a multi year deal with a significant pay raise, this should be an easy decision for the Knicks, who need as many solid depth pieces as they can possibly find. However, you could make the argument that the emergence of a Immanuel Quickley could eat into his time and make him irrelevant. After testing Quickley as a point guard last year, it is clear his future will likely be as a shooting guard â€” he is 3 inches shorter than Burks, and doesnâ€™t offer the same ability to feature in isolation.
Overall, Quickley shouldnâ€™t be the reason the Knicks pass on resigning Burks, and in fact, his impact would likely be far greater than the alternative, having adjusted to Thibodeauâ€™s system and reliance on defense. A two year, $16 million deal with Alec might be sufficient, and would offer the Knicks familiar chemistry and experience with a team that is preparing to turn over in free agency to a degree.