With the season officially behind us, this is about the time we would normally begin looking forward to the draft. Actually, we normally would have been looking forward to the draft starting around February. But with the Sacramento Kings lacking a first round pick this year, we can spend a little more time than normal reflecting on the past season. We’re going to do this by grading every player on the roster, one at a time. The Sactown Royalty staff will provide their grades and thoughts, and we’ll have a poll and can discuss and debate.
Today we’re discussing Alec Burks. After being acquired at the trade deadline, Burks appeared in just 13 games for the Kings, averaging 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 0.8 assists.
I want to start by saying that I liked Alec Burks as a player before he joined the Kings. I also think he could be a fine bench player for another team, I don’t think his career is over. Sometimes a player is just a bad fit, and that seemed to be the case with Burks and the Sacramento Kings. I was hopeful that Burks would provide a nice scoring punch off the bench, but he never seemed to get comfortable with the Kings. He spent most of his time on the bench, and was a disappointment.
Simply, we did not see enough of Burks to grade him. 17th on the team in total minutes (behind Ben McLemore), 17th in minutes per game (behind Caleb Swanigan). There is an urge to punish Burks for not being Iman Shumpert, but that was a front office decision, so I can’t hold Burks accountable for that. Given his skill set he should have fit a little better, but for whatever reason it did not work out. I’m betting that he fares better wherever he winds up signing this off season.
Alec Burks was averaging around 11 points a game for the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to the trade that sent him to Sacramento, but then he displayed none of that as a King. He only had a solid game against the Miami Heat in which he scored nine points on 4-5 shooting. If he averaged around eight or nine points a game off the bench, it would’ve definitely helped the Kings but that was not the case. He ended up scoring a total of 13 points in 12 games played in after Miami. I’m not sure what happened but like what has been said above, he should find better success elsewhere. He’s a solid player but clearly didn’t work out in Sacramento.
The Kings traded for a scorer who was seemingly afraid to score. At the time of the trade, I thought it was a low risk move to upgrade the bench depth especially as Iman Shumpert had started becoming very inefficient. But at least Shumpert provided on and off the court leadership and defense. Burks was invisible almost every time he was on the floor. The guy took 20 total shots in Sacramento and by the end of the season couldn’t even break the rotation.
After learning incomplete grades are allowed (thanks, Rob) I changed what was an ‘F’ in my head to an ‘incomplete’ on my keyboard. Alec Burks wasn’t good when he played, but thanks to the addition of Corey Brewer, he never really got a consistent opportunity to show us anything.
I didn’t hate the Alec Burks trade at the time. I thought Iman Shumpert was starting to hurt the Kings more on the court than he was helping off it. I already came to the conclusion that the Kings should be starting Bogdan Bogdanovic with De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, so adding Burks as a bench scorer to replace Bogdanvoic’s scoring that would now be in the starting lineup made sense to me. I thought I understood what Vlade Divac was doing there.
Then the Harrison Barnes trade happened, Corey Brewer signed for the rest of the season, and Alec Burks was essentially out of a job. In hindsight, my analysis was wrong in a few different places, and Divac’s low-risk-mediocre-reward trade didn’t work out. Oh well.
I’m hesitant to give an incomplete grade here, because it could suggest that I want to give Burks another chance on this roster. I do not. He has never impressed me and I’m happy to move on. He did fulfill my expectations, however, considering my expectations were basically zero. I was very low on him when the Kings made the Shumpert trade. However, I was even lower on Shumpert.
I know that many people will disagree with me for saying that the trade for Burks was addition by subtraction. But I preferred Burks’ nonexistent impact on the team to Shump’s negative impact on the team by the time he was traded. I have love for locker room Shump and the hot streak Shump we saw at the beginning of the year, but his play was hurting the team in the second half of the season.
All that said, I just can’t give any grade to Alec Burks based on 127 low-usage minutes.
How would you grade Alec Burks’ season?
This poll is closed