The Portland Trail Blazers final roster spot: 4 options that could take them over the top

Jamal Crawford, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jamal Crawford, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Trey Burke, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

4. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Free Agent. Trey Burke. G. 93

The initial thought was to put J.R. Smith here, but it doesn’t quite feel he brings enough positive, outside of veteran leadership and championship experience. But there should absolutely be a spot in the NBA for Trey Burke to operate.

It was business as usual for Burke, who, even in a limited role, provided sound minutes for the Philadelphia 76ers. Per 36, he brought in 16.1 points and 5.8 assists, and hit on 46.5 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from 3-point range. But, he’s currently a free agent on the market.

Those numbers aren’t necessarily empty calories, either. Burke owns a +0.71 O-PIPM, the same as Ja Morant, and higher than offensive-minded guards like Jalen Brunson, Kendrick Nunn, and T.J. McConnell, among others.

Defensively, he’s statistically a liability, but not enough that it warrants tons of caution. Defenders see only a 1.0 percent increase in percentage when players are shooting over him.

See the reasons above for why Burke fits the Portland Trail Blazers’ need as a ball handling floor general. He coaxes the most out of every possession, safeguarding his team’s offense from mistakes, and maximizing them to perfection. In 329 minutes in 2019-20, he had just 12 turnovers.

Since reviving his career with the Knicks, he’s also produced better than a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Between he and No. 1 on this list, those are the two favorites on this list.