Alec Burks unveils ‘real reason’ he signed with Miami Heat'
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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New Miami Heat guard Alec Burks revealed that his conversation with Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Miami’s culture were big reasons why he decided to sign with the franchise in free agency.

“The Heat Culture from afar, then I talked to Spo, made my decision,” Burks said. “We had a great conversation. I think that’s the real reason I picked the team.”

Burks spent the 2023-24 season playing with the Detroit Pistons before he was dealt to the New York Knicks at the trade deadline. It was Burks’ second stint in New York, but he played a small role with the team this time around, averaging just 13.5 minutes per game across 23 games in the regular season.

However, the veteran guard stepped up in a big way for the Knicks in the playoffs last season, something that could be very valuable to the Heat. When called upon, Burks scored 14.8 points per game across six playoff games. He shot 50.0 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

With the Heat losing key role players such as Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus over the last two offseasons, Burks is a player that could find himself in an immediate role with the franchise in the 2024-25 campaign.

He shared how he believes he can help the Heat, who are looking to get back to the playoffs after losing in the first round to the Boston Celtics last season.

“Just my versatility,” Burks said. “I can play a couple of positions, be able to shoot, space the floor for other guys to get into the paint. Those two skills should help a lot.”

For his carer, Burks has shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc, which should make him a solid fit next to stars Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

“I think I can space the floor,” Burks said. “I’ll just play off them.”

In addition to adding Burks this offseason, the Heat also brought back forward Haywood Highsmith, who reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the team worth $11 million.

Highsmith isn’t nearly as polished scoring the ball as Burks is, but both players should factor into Miami’s rotation in the 2024-25 campaign.

Burks, 32, has made several stops on his NBA journey, playing for the Knicks, Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz. He was a first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.