Apr 14, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers small forward Evan Turner (12) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller (40) during the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It's Evan Turner's Time

So, most of us know the story. The Sixers had a disaster of an 09-10 season. I mean, Jesus, it was bad. Oh sure, Allen Iverson came to visit. But, other than that, many Sixers fans would like to forget it. That was the last time fans actively wanted the team to tank. Like, we cheered for every lost. It was mission “WTF” because the top players in the 2009 draft was expected to be John “W”all, Evan “T”urner, and Derrick “F”avors. It was perfect. So far, none of those players have really made noise. I mean, Wall was injured for a good part of last season but when he did play, he played well. We know about Turner and Favors hasn’t really made any headlines.

So, we’re talking about Turner.

I remember watching the lottery. Sixers were slotted for odds of picking sixth…I think. If you watched that thing, you remember the suspense and the hope of making it in the top three. For the most part, the lottery followed the odds up until sixth. Once that happened, things shifted. I don’t remember who ended up where in terms of 4th-6th but once sixth was determined to not be the Sixers, that meant they would certainly pick in the top 3. The remaining question was where. The 3rd pick went to the Nets. Oh dear, oh God. All that was left was the Sixers and Wizards. And we know where the Sixers ended up. Wizards landing number one brought out a lot of draft conspiracies. Wizards were fresh off a terrible season on and off the court. Look it up, it’s a long story and I need to move on.

Okay, so the Sixers picked Evan Turner. We heard about whether he and Andre Iguodala could play together because their skill sets were so similar. And that was my excuse for him in his rookie year. And in his second year, the lockout year, more stories popped up about a poor relationship between he and Doug Collins. Sixers were having a blast of a season but I felt that it hurt Turner’s chances of developing, as well as Jrue Holiday. I wanted them to go for development and they went and surprised the league with a grand start to the season. It was fool’s gold.

Last season, I really started to give up on the guy. Iguodala was gone and so Turner was left to be the starting SF. And he was, for the whole season. And yet, he didn’t really improve anywhere. His 3-point shooting did, but he upped it to average at best.

And so, here we are. The top two excuses for Turner not reaching his supposed potential are gone. Some say he’s a slow learner as it took him a while to adjust to high school and college. Welp, the NBA is not going to wait for him. He either needs to wake up, or be a bust. This year is the year. It kind of explains the rookie contract. Rookie contracts are so cheap over a few years so that you can figure out what type of player you have before giving him a raise. Makes perfect sense.

And you’ll notice a lot of players disappear after the rookie contract expires. If you don’t have it by then, you probably don’t have it. Really, once those four years are up, the player you are is most likely the player you will be be spare a little room for improvement.

The question is, can Turner become the star many hoped for when he was drafted? Will he at least improve for the Sixers to consider him a valuable part of a potential championship core? Recently, he was quoted as saying that he’s not paying the tanking any mind. That’s fine, it’s not good for players to dwell on that. Their job is to play the game. But can he? I mean, really…

See, I think it’s over for the guy. I think it’s time to let go of the “drafted at number two” future star thing. He’s not getting there. Sadly, the tools are there. The only PG on roster is a rookie who has some turnover issues. Turner, is at his best when he handles the ball. I mean, last season he did an awful lot of dribbling around “some fancy dribbles but still not what you want to see. But yeah, he could handle the ball. His problem last year was forcing shots. And he shot from mid-range which is only the lowest efficient shot in today’s game. His improved 3-point shooting along with his ability to get to the rim should do well. He can rebound well for his position. The tools are there.

But, nah. He won’t. He seems like he wants it to just happen. Am I saying he doesn’t work hard? No. I am saying that he’s probably not used to having to change his game. His game from college isn’t enough and he’s got to expand. I don’t think he’s done that all career and I don’t know if he will.

Let’s say he finally blossoms like Jrue blossomed last year. Besides him hurting the Sixers’ tanking chances, he would be a great fit with Noel and Carter-Williams. And let’s say the Sixers suck enough to get Wiggins. Wiggins plays on the wing too. So…does Turner go to the bench or can he play SG? Eh.

But here’s a more realistic scenario. Turner plays well enough to be a role player on this team when/if it becomes a contender. I would like to see him stick around but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded if his stock comes up enough.

Where do you stand on Turner?

  • Trade him ASAP
  • He’ll finally start to become the player that Sixers hoped he would be
  • He’s a bust but he could still be useful
  • He’s the next Kwame Brown and he’s got to go

Let me hear from you, Sensors!

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