|It seems like Turner has been involved in trade talks for much of his Philly career. Now, with the 76ers in certifiable tank mode, he might actually be on the way out.|
As the NBA season winds down towards its February 20 trade deadline, more and more trade rumors get tossed around every day as teams get ready to assert themselves as sellers or buyers.
Philadelphia, at 15-34 entering Wednesday's game against Boston, certainly fit the "sellers" label, which is why they are looking to trade Evan Turner, again.
Drafted with the No. 2 overall pick out of Ohio State in the 2010 draft by Philly, Turner took awhile to get adjusted to the NBA game, scoring less than 10 points per game in his first two seasons while seeing inconsistent playing time. With a three-point percentage hovering around 30 percent in his rookie year and 22 percent in his sophomore campaign, he quickly was considered as a player without a decent jump shot. Defenses could focus on stopping his drives to the hoop, hurting his offensive numbers.
He has definitely improved since those days, playing around 35 minutes per game for the 76ers the last few seasons and bringing his scoring average up to 13.3 per game, a career-high mark he's at right now.
Finally settled into his role as a scoring swingman with size, Turner — who is slated to be a restricted free agent this summer — now has some semblance of trade value on the open market, making a possible trade for valuable draft pick assets highly interesting to the tanking 76ers.
New general manager Sam Hinkie has a little more than two weeks to decide what to do with Turner, who is leading Philadelphia in scoring even with a less-than-stellar 13.7 PER.
If Hinkie does not think his team has a chance to re-sign him in the offseason or if he thinks Turner is not part of his team's future, then a trade would be far and away the best plan of action to follow. However, if he does think the two sides can get a deal done, maybe Turner is brought back to anchor a young 76ers team along with rookie Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young and whole lot of nothing else.
It is just that with Philadelphia so far from serious contention, even in a bad Eastern Conference, the lure of legitimate draft picks, cap relief, or even some established players might be too much for Hinkie to turn down. There are plenty of NBA teams in playoff races, like the Dallas Mavericks for example, who could use a player with Turner's skill set, but would those teams be willing to break the bank for a potential free agent? It remains to be seen.