“With the number 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft the Philadelphia 76ers select, Evan Turner from Ohio State University.” This is the statement that Sixers fans have been waiting to hear since the draft lottery occurred on May 18th when the Sixers defied the odds and landed the second overall pick. This could possibly be one of the easiest draft decisions the Sixers have ever made and also one of the most productive in recent years. Not to knock what the Sixers have done in their last few drafts, because as far as I’m concerned they have done very well. With lottery pick Thaddeus Young in ’07 (12th overall) and mid-round jewels Marreese Speights in ’08 (16th overall) and Jrue Holiday in ’09 (17th overall), the Sixers have stocked some promising young talent.
With that being said, none of these guys were expected to come in and be the key to turning this franchise around like Mr. Turner will be expected to do. But that is the weight that comes along with being the consensus National Player of the Year and the second overall pick in the NBA draft. The question is… is Evan Turner the answer to the Sixers problems?
Well literally speaking, no. Evan Turner is not the Answer and is probably the furthest thing from him, although I think he can add some of the same things that AI brought to the table when he was drafted No.1 overall in 1996. For one, when AI was drafted it gave Sixers fans a sense of hope and promise for great things to come, pretty much the same feeling we have about Evan. He also became the face of the franchise as soon as he was drafted, so will Evan (sorry AI2). Lastly, when AI was drafted there was no doubt who would be the leader and the cornerstone of the franchise, same goes for Evan. However, Evan Turner will lead us in a different direction then our beloved AI; he will lead us to being a well balanced team. He will make us a better defensive team, especially on the perimeter. He will make us a more efficient offensive team and he will make everyone on the floor better with his uncanny ablility to make the right play. He will take the big shot when it is needed but will not hesitate to make the extra pass. Watching him in college, you just got a sense that he knew he was the best player on the floor and that he could not be stopped. He played with a determination and passion that was clearly a step above his peers. He single-handedly turned a mediocre college team into a top 16 team, all while doing a lot of what was necessary and a little bit of everything. He is a triple-double waiting to happen and gets its done within the flow of the game. Will this translate to the NBA? I certainly think so; Evan Turner is the type that won’t settle for anything less. There are critics that think Turner and Andre Igoudala can’t coexist. I disagree. Since when is it a bad thing to have two guys in your starting lineup who are triple-double threats and play excellent defense? Now this may be a problem if we still had a coach with no sense of direction but thankfully this is not the case anymore. We now have a coach who we can trust will put the right personnel in the right position with the right plan. He will demand excellence and maximum effort through motivation and helping players reach their peak potential. So although our Sixers ended the regular season on a losing streak, they began the offseason with a winning streak. The first win was hiring Doug Collins, a solid, passionate Philly guy with extensive knowledge of the game to be the new head coach. The second win was trading Sammy D for crafty young center Spencer Hawes and tough proven veteren Andres Nocioni. The third win was accomplished last night around 7:35 pm when the Sixers drafted Evan “The Villian” Turner. So again… is he the answer to the Sixers problems? Let’s just say that he and coach Doug Collins are two solutions to a myriad of problems that have plagued the sixers in recent years. Will it be a quick fix? That remains to be seen.