What’s a Saturday morning without an Evan Turner trade rumor?
Per USA Today, apparently the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Bobcats have picked up the phone about Turner:
One rival executive mentioned the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Bobcats as possible destinations via trade, though both teams could also wait until the offseason to see if they could simply sign him then. Sixers center Spencer Hawes and Young are also frequently mentioned as trade possibilities.
This is quite interesting, as the Spurs are never mentioned in trade rumors, especially around a player like Turner. However, the Spurs do have a barrage of players that would be interesting to the Sixers. The Spurs have quite a few of expiring contracts that the Sixers might be interested in.
These players will be free agents at the end of the season for the Spurs:
Nando De Colo
Obviously, besides Duncan, all these players would be options for the Sixers.
I’m sure Kawhi Leonard is untouchable (UFA in 2015), but it’s interesting that the Spurs would call about Turner, especially with Leonard locked into the small forward position.
The Spurs own their first-round pick for 2014 and 2015, which is what the Sixers would be interested in obtaining for the services of Turner. The Spurs also have two second-round picks in 2014, which are also attractive. If the Spurs are calling about Turner, then they are desperately trying to bring some pieces in to compete for another championship. The Thunder have been brought up in rumors with Turner also and maybe the Spurs saw that as a threat. It’s weird to think about it this way, but the Spurs wouldn’t get past the Thunder if they have Turner and possibly vice versa. I say possibly, because everything in OKC depends on the health of Russell Westbrook.
If the Spurs want to make a last ditch effort to make a deep playoff run in 2014, they would easily be willing to give up their 2014 or 2015 first-round draft pick. This pick won’t be that valuable, since it will be towards the end of the first-round and the Spurs value winning now over draft picks at the moment.
I could definitely see the Spurs offering a 2014 first-round pick and a combination of Patty Mills, Boris Diaw or other expiring contracts for the services of Turner. The elephant in the room is the pick, obviously. I don’t see the Sixers trading Turner without receiving a pick in return. There’s no point to trade Turner — who is an expiring contract — for a combination of more expiring contracts.
In short, the Sixers won’t trade Turner unless there is a draft pick compensation in return. He isn’t worth a lottery pick in 2014, so the Spurs make perfect sense.