So many people feel as though Turner never got his fair share of a chance with the Sixers, but the former No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft had a leaden tenure here in Philadelphia. This is not purely an opinion article from a disgruntled fan who was one of many who strongly believed Turner was the second coming of Brandon Roy, who then was his NBA comparison from many of the ‘experts.
When you look at the numbers of Evan Turner, it’s not so much that he was not the dynamite scorer and playmaker we had hoped for, it’s who was drafted after him and their numbers in comparison with Turner. As soon as his second season in Philadelphia was over, whispers that the Sixers should have taken Sacramento big man Demarcus Cousins over Turner grew louder and louder as the season drew on. Turner played 279 career games in a Sixers uniform. In 2012, he started all 82 games and helped the Sixers into the playoffs. He also tallied 14 double-doubles that season. After the departure of all-star point guard Jrue Holiday, 2013 was truly the year Turner was going to take the next step, right?
Evan Turner had the tall order in 2013 of leading a cast of young D-League players on the floor night in and night out. Alongside Thad Young, Evan Turner was looked as a veteran by star rookie Michael Carter-Williams. Turner lead the Sixers in scoring at 17.4 points per game, which was also a career high. I know you wondering how the Philadelphia fans could not love a player averaging almost 18.0 points per game. Sadly it was filled with whining to referees, missed lay-ups and just about everything else that could go wrong for Evan, did go wrong.
It was year four of the “Evan Almighty’ era and the word bust was louder than ever at the Wells Fargo Center. When you take a strong look at his counter parts in the 2010 NBA draft that went after him, you have to strongly agree that the Sixers truly missed out on an impact player.
Demarcus Cousins went fifth to the Sacramento Kings and is currently averaging 22.7 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game. He has had his run in’s with former commissioner David Stern, but he has a solid NBA career up until this point. He can be considered one of the best centers in the NBA at this point. How about Paul George who has single-handedly reinvigorated the Indiana Pacers franchise. George was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as a starter and named a nominee for the league’s MVP award. Four years later the Sixers missed the target on drafting a superstar player. George averaged a career high 21.7 points per game in 2013-14.
As the likes of Cousins and Paul George continue to take the next step to super stardom, Evan was shipped out on the last day of the trade deadline to the Indiana Pacers. He has yet to pan out to anything greater than being an over-achieving bench warmer. The verdict is still out on Turner when it comes to the Philadelphia fans. Most people agree he never really lived up to being the number two pick in the draft. In 2010, the Sixers had high hopes for ‘Evan Almighty” but after four seasons of futility and just inconsistent success it is quite clear that the Sixers clearly missed the mark drafting Evan Turner.
If you could rewind time, who would you honestly draft with the second pick in 2010? Is Evan Turner a bust in your eyes?