After high initial expectations, Evan Turner's tenure in Philadelphia came to a pretty unpleasant end.
Many fans were tired of Turner by the time he was traded, and the Sixers weren't able to get much value for him on the open market, eventually settling for a swap with Indiana that only netted an aged Danny Granger and a second-round pick.
Since being traded to Indiana, Turner has basically been a non-factor in the Pacers' playoff push, and his future with the team, and in the league at large, is uncertain. He hasn’t fit in especially well in Indiana, which probably won’t help his perceived value in the offseason either. ESPN’s Zach Lowe summed up Turner’s current situation pretty well in a recent piece for Grantland:
“Evan Turner is another fun character to watch. He’s the no. 2 pick from the 2010 draft in a contract year who just kind of sits there and observes everything with a weird smile on his face. He even wanted to ditch the team bus after one practice and walk home alone; he asked me how long the walk would be to his hotel.”
If Turner didn’t want to take the bus, he should have at least asked the team’s GM for a lift.
In all reality though, Turner’s stock is falling fast, at a terrible time for the fourth-year forward. While Turner is still young and will certainly get another opportunity somewhere, it may be a struggle for him to find suitors this summer. From ESPN:
“With each passing day, the decision to add Turner to the Pacers is looking worse and worse for both parties. He would have been better off padding stats in Philly, and the Pacers would have been better off not playing him.”
Ouch. Still though, despite the perceived problems facing Turner, he continues to be confident, and to express that he feels that he could develop into one of the league’s better perimeter players.
"I felt like in Philly this season, I was starting to define myself as one of the better wings in the game," Turner told Lowe in Miami during the Eastern Conference Finals.
If others saw that same potential, you would think that the Sixers would have been able to fetch more for the forward on the open market, especially at the trade deadline with teams looking to make a playoff push. But hey, you have to like the kid’s confidence.
Confidence is something he never lacked for in Philly, as he once infamously stated that 'he was going to get his money regardless.'
After his underwhelming stint with the Pacers, that money might be less, and harder to come by then he had hoped for. But, uncertainty aside, Turner claims he isn't concerned with his contract) or current (lack of) playing time. But, when it comes to his financial future, it seems he has scaled his expectations a bit.
"When it comes to money, pretty much everyone in the NBA is set," he stated. “I just want to get back to playing basketball.”
Considering his play with the Pacers, it will be interesting to see what the NBA-future holds for Evan Turner. He will have to sign for much less money than he probably would have hoped for considering he is a former number two overall pick who should be just hitting his prime. Also, his options will likely be limited.
Indiana may not bring him back, but he is young, and has some offensive ability, so someone will give him a shot.
If he wants to last in the league though, he needs to use that opportunity to demonstrate that he really can develop into of the better wings in the game like he believes he can, or at least fit in with a franchise, something he has been unable to do in Indiana.
Follow and contact Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb