The New York Knicks are bringing Alec Burks back for a second tour of duty in a trade with the Pistons, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In the deal, Detroit will receive third-year wing Quentin Grimes and two future second-round picks.
Additionally, the Knicks will receive shooter Bojan Bogdanovic. Better yet, Detroit also receives the little-used Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono, and also takes Evan Fournier off of New York’s hands.
Burks, 32, averaged 12.6 points and shot over 40% from three-point land for the NBA-worst Pistons. The Knicks traded him to Detroit for draft capital in July 22. A former first-round pick, he first signed with the Knicks before the shortened 2020-21 season and was a reliable shooter off the bench. He knows coach Tom Thibodeau’s system well.
Bogdanovic should also add some strong bench scoring behind Burks. He averaged 20.2 points for the Pistons this year and was pretty efficient as well, making almost 47% of his shots and shooting 41.5% from three. Just don’t ask him to be anything more than a turnstile on defense.
Burks’ defense hasn’t been much this year either, with a -1.8 defensive box plus-minus (DBPM). However, he posted an above average 1.0 DBPM in his first tour with the Knicks. He clearly just needed a change of scenery.
The seven-win Pistons will get a solid boost in return too. The Knicks made Quentin Grimes a first-round pick out of Houston in 2021 and turned him into a reliable three-and-D. He eventually fell out of the rotation this year, but has shot almost 38% from three in his career and is competent on defense. Grimes also has the vision to find holes in defenses and drive to the basket to score as needed.
Flynn came to New York from Toronto in the RJ Barrett trade, but struggled to find regular minutes despite three-point prowess. Fournier is finally out of his “hostage” situation and should see regular playing time. Team president Leon Rose’s biggest mistake is finally out of the building.
The saddest part is losing Arcidiacono, one of the beloved Nova Knicks. He only played garbage minutes, but became something of a cult hero a la Ron Baker.
In the meantime, the Knicks can look forward to Alec Burks slotting right into a familiar system. Bogdanovic should, in turn, immediately boost bench scoring.
And keep in mind, Julius Randle and OG Anunoby are still out with injuries. And yet, the Knicks keep winning.
The trade deadline isn’t over yet. Let’s see if the Knicks have more moves up their sleeves.