When the Sixers reportedly traded for Alec Burks and Glen Robinson III, they needed to waive two players to create roster space. Well, two players didn’t make the team trip to Milwaukee.
According to The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, both Jonah Bolden and Trey Burke didn’t travel with the team. Kyle O’Quinn also was missing but the Sixers declared he was out due to personal reasons.
NBA teams can have 17 total guys on their rosters, including keeping only eight players active on game day. The addition of Burks and Robinson meant two players had to be waived. They appear to be Bolden and Burke.
Burke Had Fallen Out of Favor with Organization
Trey Burke had seemingly fallen out of favor with the organization back in December when his dad complained about the point guard’s role on social media. While Burke has repeatedly told his parents to stop commenting on his situation, they can’t help themselves. Either way, Sixers coach Brett Brown’s actions made it clear that Burke wasn’t part of his long-term plans.
Raul Neto has been the team’s backup point guard all season and Brown recently explained how he chooses his rotation. Burke hasn’t seen any meaningful minutes since Jan. 9 while Neto exploded for 19 points against Golden State on Jan. 28.
“We go Raul, Trey, what does Raul have to do? We all remember four days ago, Raul had 19 points in the first half,” Brown told reporters, via Sixers Wire. “You’re not going to play those two guys together. It’s one or the other and it’s true that Trey has value. It’s always that type of decision.”
Bolden Never Established Meaningful Role in Philadelphia
Jonah Bolden was once seen as a promising young rim protector but the Sixers had started phasing him out. When both big men — Joel Embiid and Al Horford — were nursing injuries, the team relied on Norvel Pelle to take up their minutes in the frontcourt and Bolden watched his role vanish.
He has played a whopping 14 total minutes this season and hasn’t been active since Jan. 25 when he saw one minute of action versus the Los Angeles Lakers. Bolden was the 37th overall pick in 2017 but bounced around from playing in Israel to serving multiple stints in the G-League. The Sixers were patient with Bolden and hoped he would develop into a solid reserve big man. It never happened.
Bolden even logged crucial minute last March during the Sixers’ playoff run and just couldn’t take advantage, even after Embiid missed time due to illness. Remember, Bolden knew Ben Simmons before arriving in Philadelphia and played with him in Australia. The two partnered together earlier this month to donate money to Australia following the devastating bushfires raging in the country.
“When it comes down to crunch time, playoff time, the rotation does shorten up,” Bolden told reporters last March, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Like I said from the beginning, the opportunity is now. Whether it is now or whether it’s in the playoffs, just making the most of it whenever it comes.”