Evan Turner has heard his name circulating in rumors from the day he entered the NBA. After being selected second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft behind only the Washington Wizard’s John Wall, Turner has been involved in trade rumors and ultimately has been victimized by Sixers’ fans. While Philly fans are always known for supporting a winner and turning on a disappointment quicker than you can say “bust”, the criticism involving Evan Turner is justified.
The former National Player of the Year at Ohio State has been consistently inconsistent in his first three years as a pro. At times Turner looks like the player the Sixers thought they were getting when they selected him with the second pick, and sometimes he looks like the second coming of Adam Morrison.
In his first season as a full-time starter, Turner did manage to play in all 82 games. However, in the year most expected him to emerge as the Sixers go-to perimeter scorer, he averaged just 13 points, and he did that inefficiently. Turner shot just 41% from the floor in 2012-2013, but did manage to shoot a career-high 35% from deep.
Much of the criticism involving Turner comes from his willingness to settle from long two-point jumpers, better known as the least efficient shot in basketball. Turner attempted more shots from 16-23 feet than anywhere else on the court, despite shooting just 36% from that range.
Despite all the negativity surrounding the former Buckeye, there were some positives to take from his progression this season. Turner averaged career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, and three-point shooting percentage. While this may be the result of increased minutes after becoming a full-time starter, he has still proven to have a well-rounded game.
On multiple occasions this season, Turner showed flashes of brilliance. In a win at Cleveland in March, the Sixers’ swingman scored 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting, grabbed 13 rebounds, and handed out four assists. On another occasion, he almost notched a triple-double. Turner had 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists while shooting 10-of-15 in a win against Golden State.
It will be interesting to see how Evan Turner will progress under a new head coach next season, that is if he returns to the team. There is talk once again that the third-year pro may be putting on a different uniform in 2013-2014. Regardless, Evan showed that he may very well be a jack-of-all-trades at this level of competition, but his consistency needs to improve for him to shake the label of “bust”.