NBA teams are trying to finalize their rosters before heading to Orlando where the league plans to finish out the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Some teams are looking to fill already available roster spots based on players opting out, while others are maneuvering to strengthen their bench as much as possible. The Dallas Mavericks fall into the former group of teams, with Willie Cauley-Stein reportedly sitting out the remainder of the season, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
With the open roster spot made by Cauley-Stein's decision to sit out, the Mavericks decided to sign guard Trey Burke for the remainder of the season, per Charania. The Mavericks were already heading to Orlando without Dwight Powell who is still rehabbing after tearing his Achilles in January, as well as Jalen Brunson who had right shoulder surgery during the hiatus. The decision to sign Burke essentially fills the role of Brunson.
Burke last played with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2019-20 season but was waived by the team in February. Dallas has a history with Burke, though, as the former Michigan guard played with the Mavericks during the 2018-19 season. Burke was part of the package deal sent to Dallas that landed the Mavs Kristaps Porzingis. In his first stint with Dallas, Burke was used in a limited capacity, playing in just 25 games and averaging 17 minutes per game.
Dallas doesn't necessarily need to shore up its backcourt depth, given that the Mavs deploy multiple ball handlers. Aside from Luka Doncic, the Mavericks have Delon Wright and Seth Curry, who have shared ball-handling responsibilities with Doncic and Brunson throughout the season. However, signing Burke isn't a terrible idea given that JJ Barea, the only other healthy point guard on the roster other than Doncic, is 35 and is coming off an Achilles tear last season.
Signing Burke is also beneficial to Dallas because he's already somewhat familiar with the system. As teams begin to pick up players and rush to get them up to speed, it'll be difficult for players to establish chemistry in a short period of time. Burke may not be clicking on all cylinders right away when he gets started with Dallas, but at least he's familiar with the franchise and how the Mavericks run their offense.