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Sacramento Kings sign Deonte Burton: Analysis

The Sacramento Kings have signed undrafted free agent to a two year deal, according to Shams Charania of Real GM.

Right now, it looks like that contract will be non-guaranteed, meaning this is likely just a camp invite. Burton participated in the Las Vegas Summer League for the Washington Wizards, but he failed to showcase much of his ability. In 6 games, he averaged a mere 1.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, and 1.0 APG. Despite those underwhelming statistics, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Burton make a team’s D-League roster for the upcoming season.

Burton is an undersized, but physical, point guard that starred at the University of Nevada. His athleticism and quick first step allow him to get past his man and to the rim at will in isolation situations, while his upper body strength allows him to finish once he gets there. He can drive both ways and is ambidextrous finisher around the rim, but he clearly favors driving left. NBA defenders will be able to key on that tendency. He will have to prove that he can beat his man off the dribble regularly while driving right.

Throughout his college career, he needed the ball in his hands to do much offensively, and that dynamic must be shifted for him to make it in the Association. As someone that doesn’t create for teammates, he’s best served playing off the ball to maximize his skill set.

The biggest issue for Burton offensively is perhaps his inconsistency as a shooter. He has a nice, high release which makes it tough for his defender to block his shot despite being undersized, but he takes bad shots that don’t come within the constraints of the team’s offense. Forcing shots certainly attributed to his mediocre shooting percentage beyond the arc his senior season at Nevada (31%). It could be argued that he wouldn’t force things as much if he played with better teammates, but it still remains to be seen if that is true or just wishful thinking.

At 6’1″, 193 pounds, Burton is at a disadvantage defensively, but his length (6’6″ wingspan) and his aforementioned upper body strength enable him to play bigger than he is. He projects as a decent defender at the NBA level, and much of his upside lies on that end of the floor. He possesses great lateral quickness to cut off drives to the basket, and his length allows him to contest shots and be disruptive enough to collect steals.

Burton is an intriguing prospect that some NBA team will certainly spend time on to develop in the D-League. Although undersized, Burton does enough well to overcome that disadvantage. Ultimately, his role in the NBA might be as a backup point guard that changes the pace and creates instant offense for himself.

Andrew Ford