Rockets News

Houston Rockets showing interest in Alec Burks before trade deadline

By Michael Knight
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 11 : Alec Burks #10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers puts up shot against the Houston Rockets on January 11, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 11 : Alec Burks #10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers puts up shot against the Houston Rockets on January 11, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets are reportedly looking to bolster their guard depth even more. They are showing interest in a current Cavaliers player to help out the roster.

The Houston Rockets are always active at the trade deadline, and it’s looking like this year will be no different. They are looking for ways to improve the roster as well as set up the team for future seasons.

A player that can fit that mold is one they currently have interest in: Alec Burks. While the name may not sound perfect, he could potentially be a solid role player for the team if he earns the minutes.

Let’s first look at the trade logistics, though. Here is the current trade that Jason Lloyd of The Athletic talked about here:

With Brandon Knight either hurt or getting DNP-CDs for practically the entire year, this isn’t a bad trade to make for the Rockets. Let’s look more into why this trade could help the team for now and the future.

Contract-wise

Brandon Knight is a tough contract. For a player that isn’t looking like he has in the past after been injured for nearly a two years, moving his $15+ million a year contract for the next two years is a tough sell.

Unfortunately, that’s why a first-rounder likely needs to be added to deals involving Knight. Sweetening the pot is something that must happen if any team would be even willing to deal with Houston.

Burks is also an expiring deal this year. He would clear up some space in the luxury tax that is currently taken by Knight. Getting that contract off the books would be very nice for the Rockets.

Alec Burks isn’t a bad option to be of use to the Rockets. While I certainly would prefer using the Knight + first-rounder combination for other players (JaMychal Green or Kent Bazemore to name a few), this wouldn’t be too shabby if those deals don’t progress.

Skill-wise

Alec Burks fits the mold as a player that could thrive in the D’Antoni system. He is a guard who has shown flashes of greatness in the past, especially against the Rockets in the playoffs last year as a member of the Jazz.

Burks is a 6’6 guard who would likely play both the shooting guard and small forward positions for the Rockets. On the year for the Cavs (where he started most games), he averaged 11.6 points per game on 37.8% shooting from deep. That shooting would be nice to have and would be another player that James Harden can trust to knock down shots.

He is also averaging a career-high 5.5 rebounds per game with the Cavs. At 6’6, that is somewhere he can shine in Houston, especially if he’s playing the 3-spot.

Defense might be the biggest question mark. Burks has been pretty inconsistent on that end of the court throughout his career. He has the size and athleticism to switch on defense with the Rockets, but he’d have to buy in. At times, AB has been solid as a defender, but it just all depends on the situation.

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Contractually, this move would be pretty good for the Rockets. Getting Knight’s contract off the books would be fantastic. Player-wise, Burks could be a good fit but with the guard depth the Rockets already have, playing time would not be guaranteed.

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