For somebody who was signed to compete for the 76ers’ backup point-guard role, Trey Burke won’t be lacking confidence in joining his new team.
Burke, 26, signed late last month with the Sixers to a one-year, partially guaranteed deal in which he could make up to $1.8 million, sees a key role for himself with the Sixers.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Burke split last year with the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 10.9 points and 2.7 assists in 58 games. Over his well-traveled six-year NBA career, Burke has averaged 9.7 points and 2.7 assists.
Burke is expected to battle another offseason acquisition, Raul Neto, for the backup to Ben Simmons. Neto signed as a free agent from the Utah Jazz.
Not in a bragging way, but Burke, in a conference call with reporters late Tuesday afternoon, said it’s his goal to be the backup and even help in other situations.
“I think throughout stretches of the game we [Burke and Simmons] can play together and I can be out there with the starting lineup at times,” Burke said. “That is the competitor in Trey Burke. That is who I am and what I bring to Philadelphia, if you ask me.”
Burke spent two seasons at the University of Michigan, leading the Wolverines into the 2013 NCAA title game in which they lost, 82-76, to Louisville. In that championship game, he scored a game-high 24 points.
He was the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft by Minnesota and was dealt to Utah in a draft-night trade.
Burke spent three seasons in Utah, one with the Washington Wizards, and parts of two seasons with the Knicks before being dealt to Dallas on Jan. 31 in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
While growing up in Columbus, Ohio, Burke said that he followed the Sixers since Allen Iverson was his favorite player. As a professional, he struck up a relationship with Iverson so Burke is thrilled to be going to the franchise that Iverson led to the 2001 NBA Finals.
“I always watch old films of him, the way he attacked on offense,” Burke said. “AI has been a big part of my career, a big part of my love for the game of basketball.”
Even at his size, Burke, who is a 34% career three-point shooter, feels he could fit in well at shooting guard.
“I have some experience playing off the ball,” he said. “The short time I was in Dallas, playing with Luka, I felt we played really well together in our limited time together, even in New York I played off the ball.”
Burke was referring to Luka Doncic, the NBA’s rookie of the year this past season for the Mavericks.
According to Burke, he had some other options but liked the fact that the Sixers are a championship contender.