Despite having to push back his vacation plans, Evan Turner was ‘ecstatic’ about being traded to the Indiana Pacers, according to his agent David Falk.
“They play old-fashioned, no-nonsense basketball, that’s the way Evan sees himself,” Falk stated to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck.
Turner’s excitement is not so surprising, as the fourth-year forward needed a change of scenery just about as badly as anyone across the league’s landscape.
Turner could never quite live up to the ‘next Sixer superstar’ expectations that came with being selected second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, and despite some improved output this season, he was never fully embraced by the fan base. It was like they were perpetually waiting for Turner to turn into who they thought he was going to be, and his inabilities only fueled their frustrations.
No wonder Turner is amped for the opportunity. He won’t be playing for a team looking to make him the foundation of the franchise for the future, or banking on him developing into a superstar. Instead, his role will be reduced to that of a reserve, and he will be looked to for some offensive output off of the bench.
There is definitely a downgrade in expectations. But, in Indiana he has an all new set of expectations, and will face a different type of pressure as a Pacer, with people now expecting him to be the final piece to the puzzle.
“They are going to win the Eastern Conference. This takes them to another level,” Charles Barkley stated on Thursday in response to the Turner trade, and his sentiment was echoed by thousands across the Twittersphere.
So now, instead of being impatiently expected to develop into a star on a struggling squad, Evan Turner will just be looked to as the final puzzle piece needed to push the Pacers past the Heat and into the Finals.
So Evan is excited, and understandably so, he just jumped from the bottom to one of the league’s top teams. But in Indiana, Turner doesn’t get to escape expectations, he just has to deal with a whole new set of them.