The Philadelphia 76ers have the option to bring back Trey Burke ahead of the NBA’s resumption in Orlando.
The Philadelphia 76ers waived Trey Burke earlier this season to make room for Norvel Pelle, who signed a full-scale rookie contract. At the time, it made perfect sense — Burke was becoming inconsequential, whereas Pelle could become a valuable reserve for years to come.
But, as the NBA’s resumption of play in Orlando inches closer, the Sixers will have the opportunity to revisit their dismissal of Burke. From June 23 through June 30, teams have the option to waive and sign players, as long as they were on the roster at some point in 2019-20.
I’m not here to lay down a concrete declaration of necessity. The Sixers probably won’t swing the pendulum very far, if at all, by bringing Burke to Disney World. He’s not a particularly good player, and Philadelphia — barring injury — probably wouldn’t use him in a competitive setting.
However, in the event Philadelphia does reconsider Burke, it’s important to gauge the immediate value of Kyle O’Quinn — the likely casualty in the event of a Burke reunion. With Pelle on the roster, as well as a healthy Joel Embiid and Al Horford, the Sixers probably won’t use O’Quinn either.
If the roster stays healthy, the Sixers will have no use for Pelle, much less O’Quinn. The latter won’t spend any time playing next to Philadelphia’s core. And, while I’m not sure Burke would play, he has a better chance to scratch out minutes next to the core group. O’Quinn is a bench warmer unless something happens to Embiid.
There was once a time when the Sixers won a playoff game entirely on the back of T.J. McConnell. The Sixers are a team lacking in point guard depth, and the dynamism of a guard like Burke has periodic utility, even if he’s a deeply flawed player. Burke is liable for the occasional 30-point explosion, and while he may not get the proper minutes for an outburst of that magnitude, he could prove useful as a spark-plug scorer if Philadelphia’s offense stalls.
Again, Burke is a largely inconsequential player who probably won’t impact the Sixers’ title odds. This is a debate of marginal importance. It’s as simple as O’Quinn — who already has one foot out the door — having zero value unless Embiid gets hurt. If Embiid gets hurt, Philadelphia’s ability to compete plummets regardless. Pelle can comfortably assume the role of third-string center, and Burke can ride the pine in hopes of briefly unloading his scoring arsenal on an ill-prepared opponent.
It’s something for Elton Brand and the front office the consider. That’s for sure.