The last few weeks have been especially crucial for Philadelphia 76ers backup point guard, Trey Burke. As his contract was set to become fully guaranteed by January 7th, the Sixers had to make a decision on their offseason acquisition.
There were two options. One: the Sixers could waive Burke and avoid paying him $2 million in guaranteed money. Or two: the Sixers could hold onto the young veteran and further implement him into their gameplan.
A month ago, Burke might not have made the cut. Lately, though, the 76ers' reserve has been on the good side of his head coach, Brett Brown. After going back and forth, undecided on Raul Neto or Trey Burke as the backup point guard, it seems Brown has found more value in Burke.
Although Neto was initially in Brown's favor because of his better defensive skillset, the Sixers now understand they need to focus on the offensive side of the ball more. That's where Trey Burke offers better quality minutes for the Sixers.
On Monday night against the Thunder, Burke had one last chance to prove his worth while coming off of the Sixers' bench. After picking up 16 minutes, he knocked down 71-percent of his shots from the field, totaling for 12 points.
The following morning, Burke met with 76ers' General Manager Elton Brand to discuss his future with the team moving forward. To no surprise, Brand informed Burke that his contract salary will indeed become guaranteed, and the veteran will remain in Philly.
"I'm grateful," Burke said on Tuesday, according to NBS Sports Philadelphia's, Noah Levick. I always wanted to be a part of a winning situation. What better city than Philly -- a team I watched growing up. Just being guaranteed today is a special thing for me."
Considering the Sixers had a way out of Burke's contract but chose to stick with him, it becomes obvious that the former Michigan product has now surpassed his 76er competitor, Raul Neto, on the depth chart. Now, it will be interesting to see how the Sixers utilize Burke as a backup shooting guard with Matisse Thybulle returning soon.
Before, Burke was only viewed as a backup for Ben Simmons. But as of late, Simmons and Burke have built up a solid on-court chemistry with each other. Brett Brown doesn't have a resolution just yet. Soon enough, though, we will find out if Burke's role will expand or remain the same as Thybulle returns to the lineup.