Last season, Evan Turner was able to rev his game up all through the month of May, as the 76ers battled Chicago and Boston in the postseason. His rising production and involvement within Philadelphia’s system became more evident, with his numbers slightly improving in the playoffs after a quiet sophomore season. Going into the final year of his rookie contract, Turner enters a critical point in his pro career where he must show the league why he was Philly’s second-overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Chosen over players such as DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George and Gordon Hayward, the Sixers fully believed the development of Evan Turner would result in him becoming a recognized weapon on offense. But his first two years in Philly haven’t been anything similar to that, as Turner has slowly progressed to average 9.4 points and 5.8 boards last season.
There are several excuses, causes and rumors as to why Turner hasn’t fully become the player many Philadelphia fans expected him to be. In his rookie year, he mustered just 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds with his limited playing time off the bench. Coming into his second season, Turner was more aggressive around the glass, averaging 5.8 boards a game while still averaging a low scoring average of 9.4 points a night. Going into the spring, Philadelphia witnessed some shades of Turner’s progress during the playoffs, as the former All-American was able to chart consistent double-digit scoring while being a menace around the glass.
Coming into this new season, Evan Turner will have his healthy share of opportunities to shine as one of Philadelphia’s reliable talents for years to come. The main reason coach Doug Collins has barely surrendered the starting role to Turner is because of his inconsistency on the floor. Coach Collins has primarily played Turner as an off-guard and has started Jodie Meeks in his place, but this time around things should be much different. Going into year three, Turner has made it obvious he’s best when he’s got the ball in his hands to create for himself and others. With Meeks gone, and a handful of new swingmen competing for playing time, look for Turner to break out of his shell and become the playmaker he was in college.