Indiana Pacers’ guard Evan Turner has taken his share criticism since the Philadelphia 76ers selected him with the number two overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
As the 76ers gutted their team in an attempt to tank this season, they dealt Turner to the Indiana Pacers and things went even worse there. Although it seems like Turner’s days in Indiana are numbered (he is set to become a restricted free agent), Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders wonders if the Pacers would consider keeping Turner if they decide to let fellow restricted free agent Lance Stephenson walk.
Pacers president Larry Bird sounds resigned to the idea that Evan Turner will be playing somewhere else during exit interviews. Considering his offer value is $8.7 million, it seems unlikely that the Pacers issue that, although they might, but again it seems unlikely.
Turner was not exceptional in his time with the Pacers, averaging 7.1 points per game in 27 games, reverting to more of what he looked like in Philly over the last two years. It will be interesting to see what the market place for the former second overall pick really is.
It’s doubtful that Turner lands a deal paying much more than he earned last year, the question is with Lance Stephenson headed to unrestricted free agency do the Pacers really let Turner walk or do they risk picking up his offer as insurance in case Stephenson bolts? The Pacers would have to make that decision on the offer sheet before they known what’s real with Stephenson.
Turner averaged 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game last season, but put up just 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game after the trade. It was even worse in the postseason – Turner played just four total minutes in the Eastern Conference Finals.