A player who seemingly could have helped the Celtics improve their bench might no longer be available this summer.
It was reported Tuesday that Boston was interested in acquiring Alec Burks, a veteran guard who’s steady behind the 3-point line and is a capable defender. Well, Burks appears to be on his way to Detroit.
The Knicks traded Burks and center Nerlens Noel to the Pistons in a move that cleared up $19 million in salary cap space for New York, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The newfound cash is expected to be used in the Knicks’ pursuit of free-agent point guard Jalen Brunson.
Burks is set to make a hair over $10 million in the upcoming season and he has a club option for the 2023-24 campaign worth roughly $10.5 million. In addition to theoretically being a solid on-court fit with the Celtics, Burks seemingly would have been easy for Boston to land given his age (he turns 31 in July), injury history and the $17.1 million trade exception the C’s have at their disposal.
Fortunately for the Celtics, there still is a handful of practical and realistic trade targets out there should Brad Stevens and company feel inclined to make a move. Players like Luke Kennard and Kyle Kuzma would make sense as summer pursuits before the aforementioned TPE expires July 18.