Free agency may not officially begin until June 30, but it looks like the Boston Celtics have a plan and will be hearing how they spend their money this summer.
As reported by Masslive’s Brian Robb, the Celtics recently turned down the opportunity to add Alec Burks via trade, which could see the veteran included in the Celtics’ trade exception.
“The Knicks are motivated to make a move now before there is free agency because they need limited room to make a substantial offer to the free agent, Jalen Brunson. The Celtics are clearly not willing to close the door to other potential options by buying Burks, which will use a large chunk of their biggest ($10 million) TPE. I’m told the Knicks will also have some mild sweeteners involved (probably a second round pick) but that’s certainly not enough to boost Boston,” Robb wrote in the June 29 article.
Burks was finally traded to the Detroit Pistons on June 28, allowing the New York Knicks to create the capitalization space they were looking for and ensuring the Celtics upheld the $17.2 million Evan Fournier trading exception their dollars in the opening weeks of the season. .
Burks’ injury and defense could be factors
After the Knicks’ disappointing season ended, Burks decided to have surgery due to a problem with his foot, which raised doubts about his readiness to start next season. While that surgery is unlikely to be a major hit for Boston, it could play a small part in New York’s decision not to accept the commercial proposal.
However, Burks’ limited defensive ability is perhaps the most important point. Over the past 12 months, Brad Stevens and Ime Udoka have worked together to create an exceptionally talented defensive team – one that placed first in defensive ratings for the 2021-22 NBA season.
According to the Basketball Index, Burks was a reliable perimeter defender, but struggled with navigating the screen and quickly became less effective when the ball hit the inside. Boston likes their players to be versatile defenders, capable of defending multiple positions (which Burks can) and able to defend themselves against inappropriate situations (which Burks can’t). .
As such, it appears that Stevens believes there are better options available with TPE Fournier and that he will continue to explore those avenues, rather than bite into the tempting offer that first crossed his desk. that.
Burks did not meet the demand
Sure, when the Knicks don’t have a point guard play, the admirable Burks steps in to fill the void, but in reality, he’s a shooting guard. Entering the end of the season, the general consensus was that Boston needed another wing, preferably a small forward or strong forward, that could handle kicks and score goals in a consistent clip.
In addition to adding strikers, finding some additional play and pinpointing a genuine Robert Williams backup are both high on the agenda. So while Burks is a reliable scorer and has shown some playability, he does not fulfill a positional need, nor add the necessary dimension to Boston’s rotation.
With Evan Fournier TPE set to expire on July 18, the Celtics still have plenty of time to find a player they deem suitable and begin contract negotiations. Although, with each passing day, that window is closing.
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https://heavy.com/sports/boston-celtics/celtics-rejected-knicks-trade-offer-report/ Celtics Rejected Knicks Trade Offer: Report