Before Philadelphia looks to add more shooters to their roster, they should ensure they keep one they already have.

It has become common knowledge at this point that the Sixers will not have salary cap room this offseason or for the foreseeable future.

To ensure the team has enough shooters to surround Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons next season the Sixers must retain their best 3-point threats. Assuming Philadelphia guarantees Furkan Korkmaz’s contract for next season to keep him around, their next focus should be re-signing Alec Burks.

Burks may not be the highest-profile signing but he gives the Sixers exactly what they need.

In 18 games for the Sixers, this season Burks made 1.8 threes a game at 42% from behind the arc, second only to Shake Milton.


In the 104 minutes that Alec Burks and Joel Embiid shared the floor, the Sixers had a net rating of +18.4, the best of any two-player combination featuring Embiid this season.

The difference between Burks and other 3 point specialists on the Sixers roster is that Burks can create his own shot from deep. 44% of Alec Burks’ 3 point attempts came from unassisted pull-up jump shots, of those shots Burks made 47%. No player on the team shot more unassisted 3 pointers than Burks, by comparison, only 3% of Furkan Korkmaz’s 3 point shots were unassisted and only 12% of Shake Milton’s attempts came that way.

Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Burks can also make a catch and shoot jumpers from the perimeter and if he does return next season he will have more opportunities to show that ability from deep. Ben Simmons and Alec Burks appeared in only 4 games together this season, in which they were both on the court at the same time for just 36 minutes. While it is a small sample size in the time the two players shared the court 75% of shots taken were assisted on and the Sixers had a net rating of +5.2. Other than James Harden there isn’t a player in the league that creates more 3 point shot attempts than Ben Simmons, Alec Burks would surely make the most of the opportunities if the two played more minutes together.

While Burks would undoubtedly fit well next to both Simmons and Embiid he also provides sorely needed bench scoring (Philadelphia ranked 26th in bench scoring in 2019-20) In 20 minutes a game Burks was able to score 12.2 points on 46% shooting, that extrapolates out to 21.8 points per 36 minutes which would be second on the team behind Embiid. Burks can shoulder the scoring load in short bursts for the second unit in desperate need of scoring punch.

Philadelphia would only be able to offer Alec Burks the taxpayer mid-level exception for next season (taxpayer exception was $5.718 million for the 2019-20 season).
Considering Burks’ production he may be hoping to receive an increased salary offer elsewhere but the Sixers can, and should, also offer an increased role on what could be a serious playoff contender next year.

Featured Image: Yong Kim/Philadelphia Inquirer
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