HA. Of course the Sixers did. But, lets take a trip back a few months…
The date was February 20th, 2013 — better known as the “NBA Trade Deadline”, aka, the moment Sixers fans had been waiting for all season. Early in the morning, Spencer Hawes was shipped to Cleveland, netting two second-round picks and a future gem in Henry Sims. The remaining piece of the puzzle to be removed was none other than Evan Turner, the former No. 2 overall pick. It was an hour before the deadline and Turner was still on the Sixers. It was 30 minutes before and Turner was still on the team. Five minutes, two…EVAN TURNER TRADED TO THE INDIANA PACERS.
It happened. Evan Turner was finally no longer a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. No more ridiculous game-winners that pulled us further away from Andrew Wiggins, no more pounding the ball into the ground for 24 seconds, IT’S OVER. Philadelphia knew his 17.4 ppg and 6.0 rpg were the result of being the only half-decent scoring option on an awful team. However, tweets like this engulfed twitter and fooled people into believing that Turner was something he isn’t.
With Evan Turner on board Pacers will basically be unbeatable now.
— Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) February 20, 2014
The Sixers finished the season quite horribly, with a 26-game losing streak tied in there, but that’s what the fan base was sold on and accepted.
Since joining the Pacers, Turner has been a shell of a shell of a shell of his inflated statistics in Philadelphia. During 27 regular games with Indiana, Turner put up 7.1 points per game, coupled with 3.2 rebounds per game, shooting 41 percent from the floor. Turner’s mediocre PER dropped from 13.2 with Philadelphia, to an even worse 9.7 with the Pacers. As soon as Turner showed up in Indiana, the problems started occurring. The Pacers were losing game after game and Paul George looked more like the mediocre player everyone saw during his first few seasons in Indiana, not the player that was challenging the third best player in the NBA spot early on in the season. Then, the playoffs rolled around.
If you’ve been keeping track of the NBA Playoffs, which I hope you have, the Indiana Pacers have been a train wreck. A train wreck that’s being driven by a conductor that’s spent more time in the local bar than at work. Turner hasn’t really been the main reason for that. Reason being, he hasn’t really been on the court.
In five playoff games with Indiana, Turner has averaged 12.6 minutes per game, scoring 5.2 points per game and scoring a total of 26 points. Wait…Indiana has played six playoff games though? Evan Turner received a DNP-CD during game six. As I watched Evan Turner sit back on the bench, I sat back on my couch and laughed audibly.
The Sixers won this trade. It doesn’t matter that Danny Granger was released and is playing for the Clippers. Philadelphia received a 2015 second-round pick, but realistically, the Sixers would have still won this trade even if that pick wasn’t included. There has been nothing better than watching Evan Turner sulk on the bench with Indiana, after he was lauded as the “piece” to bring the Pacers to the NBA Finals. Let’s see if they can get out of the first-round against the Atlanta Hawks, who didn’t even finish the season with a .500 record. Even if Indiana does get past the first-round, Washington awaits in the second-round after blasting the Bulls in five games. Anyone think that the Pacers can beat the Wizards? Didn’t think so.
Regardless of how far the Pacers go (or don’t go), it’s amazing to watch Evan Turner sit on the bench. This probably sounds bitter, but any fan of the Sixers understands what I’m saying. We all knew what Evan Turner was and watching the world realize this is glorious.
Sam Hinkie wins again.