With the NBA’s Trade Deadline just eleven days away, the rumors are picking up, and one blockbuster deal has already been made. Contrary to the usual, the Sixers are now all of a sudden involved in the drama around the deadline. Marc Stein reported that the Sixers are openly making calls to gauge the worth of Evan Turner.
As we all await the return of Andrew Bynum and Thaddeus Young, it has become apparent that All-Star point guard, Jrue Holiday, needs some help. The rumor that has surfaced and drawn the most attention would send Turner to Utah for Al Jefferson. The 28 year old center is averaging 17.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season, and has a contract that expires this summer. Jefferson would be a more than capable replacement until Bynum returns. The question that remains is what to do with him after Bynum and Young are both back in action.
Regardless of the rumor, do not be surprised if the Sixers do not move Turner at all. They just picked up his third-year option this summer, and without Jason Richardson for the rest of the season, the shooting guard spot is now a thin position on the roster.
LaVoy Allen grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds last night against Charlotte, and Spencer Hawes has picked up his play in increased minutes with Thaddeus Young out injured. If Hawes and Allen can continue to play well enough, with some help from others such as Arnett Moultrie, there is no real reason to pick up another big man.
Turner’s game has definitely improved every season, but expect the success of Jeremy Pargo’s first game as a Sixer to draw even more criticism to the former second overall pick. Many have labeled the third-year guard a bust. His shot selection, decision-making, and inconsistency have a long way to come, but Turner has shown glimpses of greatness.
The fact that the Sixers are making calls to determine the value of Turner should not come as a surprise. Almost all teams go through the process every season, and with a record under .500, it is expected. There is no reason to believe Turner will be in another uniform this season. Not yet anyway.