Turner expected 76ers to trade him
by Jason Wolf, USA TODAY Sports
PHILADELPHIA — Evan Turner was preparing to be traded this offseason after the Philadelphia 76ers dealt his good friend, All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, to the New Orleans Pelicans for injured teenage center Nerlens Noel and a first-round draft pick in 2014.
“I was getting ready for it,” Turner said on the eve of training camp.
And he knows his tenure in Philadelphia likely remains short-lived.
Turner is the antithesis of a Sam Hinkie player. The analytic-minded new Sixers president and general manager aims to identify and mine undervalued, efficient talent, and Turner has proven a treasure chest that contains an I-owe-you, a promise of riches to this point unfulfilled.
The swingman has failed to live up to fans’ lofty expectations since the Sixers selected the 2009-10 NCAA player of the year out of Ohio State with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. And he’s entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract, making him a possible trade candidate, should the Sixers receive a half-decent offer.
“What I do know is he has a lot of areas that he really can blossom,” first-year Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “He is a talent, and I think that the weight of the city at times and the expectations, like they would anybody, can drown you if you let it. I think it’s important that we don’t pay attention to what you write, seriously, and I hope he’s not caring about what goes on on Twitter.”
Turner (6-7, 205) averaged 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season in 35.3 minutes per game as he started all 82 games in a season for the first time in his career. He shot 41.9 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from beyond the arc and 74 percent from the foul line. And he clearly wore down as the season progressed as his production declined across the board after the All-Star break.
Those are decent enough stats for an average player, but not for a star, not for the franchise player Turner was billed as when he was drafted second overall.
And he has endured heavy criticism … [For more on Evan Turner expected 76ers to trade him this offseason, click here.]