Grade the Trade: Timberwolves land veteran sharpshooter

Jan 1, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks (14)
Jan 1, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks (14) / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota bolsters the second-unit and adds much-needed shooting

As the NBA trade season marches on, the Timberwolves have been continuously linked to point guards and floor-spacers. A recent mock-trade from Bleacher Report had Minnesota acquiring a veteran forward, shooting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc.

That forward is Detroit Pistons' Alec Burks. In the trade, he was dealt to Minnesota in exchange for Troy Brown Jr., Shake Milton, and Utah's 2025 second-round pick.


The reasoning behind the Burks addition is spot-up shooting and secondary playmaking. Although Burks doesn't fit the bill as a full-time playmaker, he is capable of handling playmaking duties in a pinch.

It wasn't too long ago that Burks logged about a third of his minutes at point guard. In the 2021-22 season, while playing for the New York Knicks, Burks spent 35 percent of his career-high 2,318 minutes at point guard.

That season, the veteran wing averaged a career-high 3.0 assists per game. Besides Mike Conley, the Timberwolves roster both Shake Milton and Jordan McLaughlin, two players capable of filling in at point guard.

However, in Bleacher Report's hypothetical, Milton was shipped out to Detroit, leaving McLaughlin as the lone remaining backup point guard. Burks doesn't eliminate the need to play McLaughlin outright, but he does offer additional playmaking.

While he can make plays, his best attribute is his scoring. Burks is averaging 12.1 points per game in less than 20 minutes worth of action. He's knocking down 2.2 threes per game at a 39.6 percent clip. Additionally, the Detroit wing does a great job of drawing fouls. He's converting 89.2 percent of his 3.0 free throw attempts per contest.

The Pistons' return is less enticing. But, as a team focusing on a rebuild, adding younger players like Brown Jr. and Milton does more for the squad than Burks. Additionally, a second-rounder further tempts the Pistons to make the trade.